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Thread: Top 10 opera singers today

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    Default Top 10 opera singers today

    I saw this list today on another site. Wondered what people thought about it.

    the top 10 opera singers of today

    renée fleming
    anna netrebko
    angela gheorghiu
    joyce didonato
    elina garanca
    juan diego florez
    plácido domingo
    jonas kaufmann
    dmitri hvorostovsky
    rené pape

    List revised on June 17th afte thorough deliberations, where waltraud meier and karita mattila from the initial list have been replace by joyce didonato and juan diego florez.

    Opinions? Not much in the heavier roles for both men and women. Popularity contest or really 'the' top 10 singers?

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    Senior Member DarkAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    I saw this list today on another site. Wondered what people thought about it.

    the top 10 opera singers of today

    renée fleming
    anna netrebko
    angela gheorghiu
    joyce didonato
    elina garanca
    juan diego florez
    plácido domingo
    jonas kaufmann
    dmitri hvorostovsky
    rené pape
    The Domingo vote surely is not for current singing ability since the 70+ year old is not capable of singing close to the level of 30 years ago or going toe to toe with JDF, perhaps lifetime achievement vote....

    Can't strongly disagree with other choices for overall portfolio of performance strength, Pape and Garanca might get replaced in my top 10 current singers list. Wagner fanatics would generate a much different list as would baroque opera fans
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Aug-31-2012 at 14:11.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yashin View Post
    renée fleming
    anna netrebko
    angela gheorghiu
    joyce didonato
    elina garanca
    juan diego florez
    plácido domingo
    jonas kaufmann
    dmitri hvorostovsky
    rené pape
    I was kind of surprised at the violence of my opinions on this topic - they left mattila off? how dare they - on the other hand, what has she done lately? Hmm ... and rene pape is at the bottom, when he should be near the top, just under mattila - I hate to include netrebko but she does have an amazing voice - as far as the other names are concerned, eh. None of them really thrills me. I guess my top ten list would have only three names on it

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    renée fleming
    anna netrebko
    angela gheorghiu
    joyce didonato
    elina garanca
    juan diego florez
    plácido domingo
    jonas kaufmann
    dmitri hvorostovsky
    rené pape

    While I personally prefer other singers to some of those on this list, I do think it generally reflects the reality of the opera "business" today. Domingo may be nearing the end of his career and one may question his forays into the baritone repertoire, but the man is still drawing the audiences as much as he ever did and his recordings are still selling well.

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    None of the one in the "list" can really fit the title of a "top" singer, always compared to those of the past, even the immediate one (70s or even 80s).
    Fleming is the closest to a good (or even very good) singer of the past, but not the very best (the "top").
    Domingo compared to his own past is just a "shadow" of himself.
    Florez is fine, sometimes very fine, but that's all.
    Kaufmann has an excellent potential to go further but he is not yet there.
    However, there are some excellent voices and superb artists in the field of Lieder, Oratorio and Baroque Opera (few of the "list" have excelled in these fields too).

    Principe

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    Looks like a popularity contest to me. Where's Vivica Genaux?

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    Quote Originally Posted by principe View Post
    None of the one in the "list" can really fit the title of a "top" singer, always compared to those of the past, even the immediate one (70s or even 80s).
    Fleming is the closest to a good (or even very good) singer of the past, but not the very best (the "top").
    Domingo compared to his own past is just a "shadow" of himself.
    Florez is fine, sometimes very fine, but that's all.
    Kaufmann has an excellent potential to go further but he is not yet there.
    However, there are some excellent voices and superb artists in the field of Lieder, Oratorio and Baroque Opera (few of the "list" have excelled in these fields too).

    Principe
    You don't get to play this game.

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    You are right, somehow, Aksel. I don't like "games" with Classical Music. We have enough to indulge in, research and comprehend.

    Principe

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    Quote Originally Posted by principe View Post
    None of the one in the "list" can really fit the title of a "top" singer, always compared to those of the past, even the immediate one (70s or even 80s).

    However, there are some excellent voices and superb artists in the field of Lieder, Oratorio and Baroque Opera (few of the "list" have excelled in these fields too).

    Principe
    I second that.

    My problem is that i choose (most of my) recordings with singers (and conductors) from the past and then i compare with today's. I sure this is not the correct way but...

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    You know, part of the problem with the question is it's awfully hard to separate one's singing ability from one's acting ability - some of the people you think are the greatest singers aren't that great when you're only listening!

    I think Thomas Hampson and Natalie Dessay should be on the list, on second thought. Not Renee Fleming, please. I've seen her do ONE THING really well - Eugene Onegin - and everything else, it's just not that good. Plus she doesn't act so well either. Kind of uninvolved, not quite to the point of saying she's wooden, no, but not ... not all there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guythegreg View Post
    You know, part of the problem with the question is it's awfully hard to separate one's singing ability from one's acting ability - some of the people you think are the greatest singers aren't that great when you're only listening!

    I think Thomas Hampson and Natalie Dessay should be on the list, on second thought. Not Renee Fleming, please. I've seen her do ONE THING really well - Eugene Onegin - and everything else, it's just not that good. Plus she doesn't act so well either. Kind of uninvolved, not quite to the point of saying she's wooden, no, but not ... not all there.
    Seriously, her Strauss is to die for. I saw her as Arabella in Paris this summer. Best operatic experience ever.

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    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guythegreg View Post
    You know, part of the problem with the question is it's awfully hard to separate one's singing ability from one's acting ability - some of the people you think are the greatest singers aren't that great when you're only listening!
    I agree & that's why you can only really judge properly when you see and them in the flesh. But Simon Keenlyside is a wonderful actor and a wonderful singer, live or on CD.

    Quote Originally Posted by guythegreg View Post
    I think Thomas Hampson and Natalie Dessay should be on the list, on second thought. Not Renee Fleming, please. I've seen her do ONE THING really well - Eugene Onegin - and everything else, it's just not that good. Plus she doesn't act so well either. Kind of uninvolved, not quite to the point of saying she's wooden, no, but not ... not all there.
    Can't quite make my mind up about Fleming, she is superb on the Onegin but not so good on Traviata.
    Annie

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    An Opera singer is, first of all and above all, a singer! So, the quality of voice and the singing technique are of paramount importance. Acting comes as a separate feature, necessary tool for the whole performance. However, Magda Oliviero, who was an excellent actress suffered as a singer and never made a big name in the History of Opera, while Joan Sutherland, a mediocre (to say the least) actress, was one of the greatest singers of the 20th century and an example to follow for many aspiring singers. Nilsson (one of the greatest Wagnerian singers) too.
    Finally, in Baroque Operas, acting is practically the least one has to expect. The music is working like an immense...concerto.

    Principe

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    Quote Originally Posted by principe View Post
    Finally, in Baroque Operas, acting is practically the least one has to expect. The music is working like an immense...concerto.
    It is quite possible to act in baroque operas, particularly with the recitatives, and in my view enhances the experience immensely.

    Some examples of very well acted Baroque DVDs:



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    Natalie

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    An Opera singer is, first of all and above all, a singer! So, the quality of voice and the singing technique are of paramount importance. Acting comes as a separate feature, necessary tool for the whole performance.

    Of course if you are watching a performance as opposed to merely listening, the acting and the whole visual experience is of the greatest importance. It's hard to envision Joan Sutherland and Pavarotti rolling about as young lovers out of a scene like this:

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