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Thread: Where in the 7 Hells have all the mezzos and contraltos gone?

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Default Where in the 7 Hells have all the mezzos and contraltos gone?

    the only real one I can think of at the moment is Podles. other than that
    Joyce Didonato: soprano
    Elena Garanca: soprano
    Cecilia Bartoli: soprano
    Vivica Genaux: soprano

    It's not even that I dislike all these singers. Cecilia Bartoli is the only one I have a significantly negative opinion on, but...they're just not mezzos. Perhaps they started to disappear when we began to become afraid of chest voice (particularly female chest voice)?

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    There's a grain of truth in what you say, but have you not heard of Semenchuk?

    N.

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    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Anita Rachvelishvili

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    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
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    Max Emanuel Cencic? He's a mezzo.

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    Christine Goerke
    Sharmay Musacchio
    Last edited by nina foresti; Sep-12-2019 at 03:33.

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    Christine Goerke
    Sharmay Musacchio
    Christine Goerke is not a mezzo. If anything she's on the higher end of dramatic soprano (not surprising given where she started).

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    Mezzos and contraltos? Where the hell proper sopranos and tenors are? Just Hernandez with any normal voice.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    Christine Goerke is not a mezzo. If anything she's on the higher end of dramatic soprano (not surprising given where she started).
    She may have started out that way, but have you heard the odd thing that happens to her notes above the staff? At present she isn't at the higher end of anything.

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    Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Jamie Barton

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    the only real one I can think of at the moment is Podles. other than that
    Joyce Didonato: soprano
    Elena Garanca: soprano
    Cecilia Bartoli: soprano
    Vivica Genaux: soprano

    It's not even that I dislike all these singers. Cecilia Bartoli is the only one I have a significantly negative opinion on, but...they're just not mezzos. Perhaps they started to disappear when we began to become afraid of chest voice (particularly female chest voice)?
    I totally agree with you. Joyce is immensely talented, technically perfect, and a great actress BUT her voice is neither distinctive nor a mezzo.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Jamie Barton
    I heard Jamie live in a small, intimate theater. Her voice is immense and is most definitely possessing a chocolaty mezzo sound. She is stocky but not as fat as she looks on TV.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    the only real one I can think of at the moment is Podles. other than that
    Joyce Didonato: soprano
    Elena Garanca: soprano
    Cecilia Bartoli: soprano
    Vivica Genaux: soprano

    It's not even that I dislike all these singers. Cecilia Bartoli is the only one I have a significantly negative opinion on, but...they're just not mezzos. Perhaps they started to disappear when we began to become afraid of chest voice (particularly female chest voice)?
    I don't think they are necessariy sopranos, just lyric mezzos, rather like Frederika Von Stade or Janet Baker.

    But there is a definite shortage of dramatic mezzos like Simionato, Barbieri, Cossotto or Baltsa. Mind you there seems to be a shortage of dramatic anything these days.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    I don't think they are necessariy sopranos, just lyric mezzos, rather like Frederika Von Stade or Janet Baker.

    But there is a definite shortage of dramatic mezzos like Simionato, Barbieri, Cossotto or Baltsa. Mind you there seems to be a shortage of dramatic anything these days. is a light lyric mezzo BUT she has what is important to me: she has the color, the hint of darkness I desire in my mezzos. Von Stade and Baker had that color as well in spades. Hard to describe but you know it when you hear it. Didonato has a marvelous voice, but she sounds like a lyric soprano who has a limited top ( or else doesn't like remaining up high).
    Zagick is still singing and is a true dramatic mezzo, but I like those Italian ladies of old better.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Sep-14-2019 at 15:43.

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    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    She may have started out that way, but have you heard the odd thing that happens to her notes above the staff? At present she isn't at the higher end of anything.
    Woodduck,I would say the top is iffy. I've heard her in the latest Ring from the Met and the recording of the High C sounds great, but at the Tucker Gala you were correct. You might enjoy hearing this clip from my fair city 16 years ago when she was Norma. I never heard Sutherland live, but Goerke's high D at the end of the trio made me not feel so left out!!! Huge and wonderful! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beH5p6MbPgA

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    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I don't think they are necessariy sopranos, just lyric mezzos, rather like Frederika Von Stade or Janet Baker.

    But there is a definite shortage of dramatic mezzos like Simionato, Barbieri, Cossotto or Baltsa. Mind you there seems to be a shortage of dramatic anything these days.
    Janet Baker, yes. Frederika Von Stade sounds like a soprano singing lower. imo, most "lyric mezzos" around today really lyric or spinto soprani while most "dramatic mezzos" are dramatic soprani singing lower. in my mind, lyric mezzo is closer to Cossotto:


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