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Thread: Box office singers

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Default Box office singers

    Let's not bother with who we like or dislike. For those who keep up with this kind of thing, who are the singers currently putting the bums on seats in opera houses around the world? Help me fill in the blanks and bring us all up to speed. Feel free to add. If you're able to rank the order that's all the better. Any actual real facts would be better still.

    My list is merely a starting point, I'll be honoured if you can add and rearrange.

    Tenors
    1. Jonas Kaufmann
    2. Joseph Calleja
    3. Rolando Villazon
    4. Roberto Alagna
    5. Victorio Grigolo
    Juan Diego Florez

    Sopranos
    1. Anna Netrebko
    2. Angela Gheorghiu
    3. Joyce DiDonato
    Nina Stemme
    Sonya Yoncheva
    Kristine Opalais
    Natalie Dessai
    Deborah Voight?
    Jamie Barton?

    Baritones & Basses
    1. Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Bryn Terfel
    Placido Domingo* (still a big draw let's face it!)
    Rene Pape
    Ferruccio Furlanetto

    Mezzos
    1. Cecilia Bartoli
    2. Elina Garanca
    Heck, help me out on this one

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    Senior Member Braddan's Avatar
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    Greetings A. How about adding Renee Fleming to the sopranos list? I believe Natalie Dessay has retired from opera singing to explore other genre. I would move Joyce di Donato to the mezzo list. Hope this is helpful (no jokes about my profession please!)

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    I guess you're right about Dessay. Has Renee Fleming retired also?

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Fatale View Post
    I guess you're right about Dessay. Has Renee Fleming retired also?
    Fleming has a busy schedule ahead of her, though, aside from appearing as Hannah Glawari in The Merrry Widow in Chicago, she seems to be confining herself to concert and recital dates these days. Like many singers getting towards the end of their career, she no doubt finds them less taxing (and probably more lucrative).
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Truth to tell?
    At the Met:
    Tenors: Kaufmann (that's it!)
    Sopranos: Netrebko/Radvanovsky(Gheorghiu - a stretch)
    Baritones: Hvorostovsky/ (Domingo - if you call him a baritone)
    Mezzos: Garanca(?)/Barton?
    Basses: Pape/Furlanetto

    By the way: Joyce di Donato is a mezzo not a soprano
    Fleming has retired otherwise she would head the list

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Truth to tell?

    Fleming has retired otherwise she would head the list
    That might come as a surprise to Fleming. As stated above, she has a full diary of concert and recital dates over the next year, and is appearing in The Merry Widow in Chicago this Autumn.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    That might come as a surprise to Fleming. As stated above, she has a full diary of concert and recital dates over the next year, and is appearing in The Merry Widow in Chicago this Autumn.
    Please note: I said "at the Met!"

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    Senior Member Balthazar's Avatar
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    In addition to those already mentioned, I would consider adding the following:

    Soprano: Diana Damrau, Patricia Petibon, Anja Harteros

    Countertenor: Philippe Jaroussky, Bejun Mehta

    Tenor: Piotr Bezcała, Topi Lehtipuu

    Baritone/Bass: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Simon Keenlyside, Mariusz Kwiecien, Luca Pisaroni
    "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.
    And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."
    -- Nietzsche

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    Yeah, I was wondering where Piotr Beczala was on that list!

    I approve heartily of this topic. Yes, Domingo is still a draw, regardless of what you think of his career these days. I would have to say Furlanetto is probably the #1 bass these days in terms of longevity and name recognition. I would also have to say that Kwiecien should definitely be included in the top rank of box office baritones with Keenlyside and Hvorostovsky.

    However, I'm wondering why the sopranos list is so long and the other lists so short... there should be no more "top sopranos" than there are "top tenors" or "top baritones." In other words... cut some! :-) They can't ALL be special.

    It would be interesting also to see retroactive lists for different time periods, such as the early 80s, late 80s, early 90s, mid 90s, etc. I would guess that going through back issues of opera magazines (listing productions) would be an interesting project to establish just who was working the most often in the biggest venues. And might serve to dispel subjective memories of who was actually out there singing and making an impact...

    For that matter, I'd love to see topics spring up devoted to "The Year That Was in Opera" - pick a favorite past year and review who was really the best, where and as what...
    Last edited by graziesignore; Sep-18-2015 at 19:12.

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graziesignore View Post

    However, I'm wondering why the sopranos list is so long and the other lists so short... there should be no more "top sopranos" than there are "top tenors" or "top baritones." In other words... cut some! :-) They can't ALL be special.
    Exactly. I was hoping we'd be able to get a consensus (possibly with some hard facts) as to who are, for each main voice type, the top 5 singers in terms of box office, which probably means public awareness too. There are plenty of singers being mentioned now, but do they cause any theatre around the world to be sold out?

    Quote Originally Posted by graziesignore View Post
    It would be interesting also to see retroactive lists for different time periods, such as the early 80s, late 80s, early 90s, mid 90s, etc. I would guess that going through back issues of opera magazines (listing productions) would be an interesting project to establish just who was working the most often in the biggest venues. And might serve to dispel subjective memories of who was actually out there singing and making an impact...
    That would be fascinating. I might be able to contribute to the 90's.

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    Please understand that there is a big difference between popular with audiences and "putting bums in the seats".
    Beczala is a superb and appealing tenor but the facts are that he does not have the capacity to sell out the house.
    Only Kaufmann can do this.
    (AT THE MET OF COURSE!)
    I'm sure there are actual statistics to be found. But easier is going right to seat selections and see who is selling the most seats and for what productions.
    In March of 2015, for example, the only sold out houses at the Met were for 2 productions only -- Wed. March 4 and Saturday matinee March 7 -- both Carmen with Kaufmann. The sad part is, he never made it to the theater. He was in Europe and caught some kind of cold or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Please note: I said "at the Met!"
    Sorry, that wasn't really clear from your post. In any case I'm not sure retired would be the right word in that context.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Sorry, that wasn't really clear from your post. In any case I'm not sure retired would be the right word in that context.
    Sorry you didn't find my post clear. Feel free to change the word to your liking if you want. It's fine with me.

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