15 November, 2006

itunes weirdness and French

For some reason itunes "Europe" has a 2006 Dessay CD of French arias that is available for 168.00Kr, but it's not in the "American" itunes.
Darn! And I really wanted to hear just the "Lucie" excerpts without having to buy the entire CD.

Instead I bought her Lakme. Can I discuss the French 'r' here? I grew up studying French and also speaking a "guttural middle eastern language" at home-since my home was there, and so I've always just said it the way you speak it.

EVERYONE in America practically had their panties in a twist over it in college and diction classes. "No, that's "pauper" French. Even the Bastille Opera doesn't use guttural 'r's! MAYBE the Opera Comique does..." Are we using rolled/flipped r's just so Americans can understand sung French? Because I don't think the French would have too much trouble understanding their own language with its own inflections.

I understand that there are two (or more) schools of thought on this. But in French it's just so....French ...to use the guttural.

Interestingly enough, Dessay is the only one using the guttural here. All of the other singers are flipping all over the place and adding a few gutturals when they feel like it (or when they forget!)

Hmm, final word will -I suppose- be handed down by the baton-wielder in March.

I was looking up old posts on nfcs today regarding coloratura rep.
I'm always looking for new roles and especially short but showy arias for auditions. French rep. is so comfortable in my voice, but it is just so rarely done.

I mean, I would learn any of these great roles/arias/operas in a heartbeat if there were a chance of them being performed anywhere except somewhere in France..and by Natalie Dessay!

Dinorah's Shadow Song
Je suis Titania
Esclarmonde (there's an optional G in this role--ha, optional--not for me!)
The Queen's Aria (Heugonots)
Eudoxie's Aria (La Juive)
Ophelie's Mad Scene (fun F# at the end)
The Pearl of Brasil
Robinson Crusoe (offenbach)
Chers Corinthiens

And so many more---- Mireille, Rossignol...

Alas. I can't paint myself into a corner with French rep. for crazy coloraturas.

The next best thing would be the Strauss girls- Zerbie, Sophie, Fiakermilli. (Again, how often are these performed?)
Then the Mozart/Donizetti popular chicks- music that I Love and know that I bring something to, but is often (these days) cast with a more lyric voice that can move (for reasons which I can't understand, because the orchestrations are NOT large, and sometimes, (not always) those voices struggle with the fioratura and even the final high notes..and you can forget about the interpolations from previous divas being there).

Back to..wait, WHAT? Dessay just used a flipped r. Wow. Oh wait, there was a guttural one. Hmm, she seems to be using guttural on "little" words, and flipped on "real vocabulary". Interesting. Update after I hear more.


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