Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 33

Thread: What would you say are the top best black opera singers of the recording era?

  1. #16
    Senior Member howlingfantods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    868
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Baritenor View Post
    You PREFER her mezzo work but do you agree that she did an equally good job as a soprano in terms of technique?
    Her technique is excellent in whatever rep. But the best part of her voice is her bottom, and you don't hear it much in soprano rep.



    That's a nice, well-sung Vissi d'arte, but nothing super special. There's probably a dozen sopranos whose Vissi d'arte's I'd rather hear. Her high notes are secure and ring out, but they're not especially pretty.





    But these are spectacular. Listen to that resonant chest voice. Wonderful. I can think of few who can match her and no one who exceeds her in this rep.
    Last edited by howlingfantods; Jan-11-2019 at 06:07.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,291
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I agree with paragraph 1, but not with paragraph 2. Like Howlingfantods I preferred her as a mezzo. In his memoirs (which were edited after his death by his wife) Walter Legge, who knew a thing or two about singers, was appalled to hear she was moving into soprano repertoire. He thought she was the greatest mezzo before the public at the time and that moving into soprano territory would alter her unique timbre.

    I also agree that it is a great shame that she never got to record Carmen, or indeed Amneris and Azucena.
    Here is my take on Verrett: I do think the lack of recordings in a recording era hurt her. I am mostly familiar from Met matinee recordings when I listened to Sirius FM. I thought her Norma and her Tosca were really wonderful BUT the mezzo part of her voice was very unique sounding, whereas her techniquely wonderful soprano singing was less distinctive sounding for some reason and for me that is the reason I enjoy her mezzo singing . I get really caught up in her distinctive sounding mezzo recordings. If you asked me whether I would rather hear her Arsace or Horne, it would be hard but I would pick Verrett's.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Jan-12-2019 at 10:59.

  3. Likes GregMitchell liked this post
  4. #18
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    12,197
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    For combined voice, musicianship, and dramatic power, Shirley Verrett stands out, and not only among black singers. For sheer vocal beauty, the young Leontyne Price would probably top my list of women, with an honorable mention to the young Jessye Norman (both developed qualities later on that made me like them less).

    Among men, the little I've heard of George Shirley suggests a first-rate lyric tenor. I see on YouTube that he recorded Ferrando in Cosi and some Haydn in the operas under Dorati. Seems like he had a good career.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Granate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    2,377
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    For what I know:

    1. J. Norman
    2. G. Bumbry
    3. S. Verrett
    4. S. Estes
    5. L. Price

    6. R. Grist
    7. W. White
    8. K. Battle
    Last edited by Granate; Jan-12-2019 at 12:46.

  6. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1,332
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Price/Verrett/Brownlee/Owens

  7. Likes Sonata liked this post
  8. #21
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,141
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    edit: you know, I think Reri Grist actually beats out Marian Anderson by a tiny margin. a gorgeous and under-appreciated voice. silvery-velvet timbre with consistently superb vocal line.

    in order

    5) Paul Robeson (politics aside...)
    4) Marian Anderson
    3) Reri Grist
    2) Martina Arroyo
    1) Shirley Verrett

    honorable mention
    Leontyne Price (wonderful in some rep, somewhat muddy sounding in others)
    Willard White
    Grace Bumbry


    others I can admit were technically brilliant but not for me.
    Last edited by BalalaikaBoy; Jan-29-2019 at 00:20.

  9. #22
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    12,197
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    edit: you know, I think Reri Grist actually beats out Marian Anderson by a tiny margin. a gorgeous and under-appreciated voice. silvery-velvet timbre with consistently superb vocal line.

    in order

    5) Paul Robeson (politics aside...)
    4) Marian Anderson
    3) Reri Grist
    2) Martina Arroyo
    1) Shirley Verrett

    honorable mention
    Leontyne Price (wonderful in some rep, somewhat muddy sounding in others)
    Willard White
    Grace Bumbry

    others I can admit were technically brilliant but not for me.
    Robeson refused to sing opera because he felt it wasn't relevant to his culture. An early exponent of "identity politics"?

  10. Likes Bellinilover liked this post
  11. #23
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,141
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Robeson refused to sing opera because he felt it wasn't relevant to his culture. An early exponent of "identity politics"?
    I didn't know that. Mostly I was referring to him being a literal communist -_-


    that's alright though, we can swap him out for Willard White for 5th place

  12. Likes Bellinilover liked this post
  13. #24
    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,804
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerx View Post
    Price, Bumbry, Verret, Grist and Lawrence Brownlee.
    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Price/Verrett/Brownlee/Owens

    So glad to see that mention!! Brownlee has a beautiful voice!

    Price
    Brownlee
    Battle
    Verret
    Norman
    Last edited by Sonata; Feb-04-2019 at 15:22.
    Sonata's iPod Heavy rotation:

    -Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    -Placido Domino
    -Richard Strauss: Symphonic works
    -Brahms Piano music
    -Seventh Wonder: Tiara

  14. Likes Rogerx liked this post
  15. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    1,252
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Derek Lee Ragin. One of the best countertenors in my book, with a stunning technique.

  16. #26
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    8
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Shirley Verrett
    Grace Bumbry
    Martina Arroyo
    Reri Grist
    Barbara Hendricks
    Kathleen Battle

  17. #27
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,586
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default

    George Shirley is probably one of my favorite tenors, just based on his Cosi fan tutte from 1967 (he didn't record all that much, unfortunately).

    Grace Bumbry would be right up there with Jennifer Larmore, etc. on a list of my favorite mezzo-sopranos.

    Leontyne Price

    Leona Mitchell

    Lawrence Brownlee
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Feb-12-2019 at 04:03.

  18. #28
    Member peeknocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    98
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I find the idea of formulating a list of singers (let alone that of any profession) on the basis of a wholly irrelevant and immutable characteristic such as race to be distasteful, but since such is the question presented I would offer the late Mattiwilda Dobbs as a particularly fine coloratura who is worthy of mention.
    Last edited by peeknocker; Feb-12-2019 at 22:30.

  19. Likes Bellinilover, GregMitchell liked this post
  20. #29
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,586
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default

    Here's Leona Mitchell as Liu in TURANDOT:


  21. Likes Rogerx liked this post
  22. #30
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    586
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peeknocker View Post
    I find the idea of formulating a list of singers (let alone that of any profession) on the basis of a wholly irrelevant and immutable characteristic such as race to be distasteful, but since such is the question presented I would offer the late Mattiwilda Dobbs as a particularly fine coloratura who is worthy of mention.
    I have to admit that I don't like this topic either, but I'm always compelled to click on it. FYI I'm a black opera singer...

  23. Likes GregMitchell, BalalaikaBoy liked this post
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •