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Thread: Met To Close For a Year

  1. #136
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vivalagentenuova View Post
    This is exactly right. I wish singing were as good as it used to be because I love opera and would be extremely happy to go to performances where I could hear the things I hear on old records. It has nothing to do with undo nostalgia.

    As for Mozart singing, I wish I could say it has fared much better than Wagner singing, but I don't think that's true. I know of no Mozart singer who approaches any of these, easily audible with no or minimal noise:










    And on and on it can go. They are not necessarily huge voices, just perfectly balanced, natural sounding, elegant, exciting voices.

    It's a simple empirical claim: I don't hear any singers like these right now or for the past 50 years or so. If they are out there, I'd be delighted to hear them. So far, nobody has provided me with any examples of singers who can reproduce this kind of sound.
    Of course no one beats them because it is the rule of faith with you that the past is always better. That’s fine but it’s just your subjective opinion. I have recordings where the singing is better than this imo. In any case where did you see that we need huge voices for Mozart?
    Let me just say that I listen to these things which people put up one which is supposed to be such great examples of singing and I just think, well I’ve got stuff on my shelves which is better than this. Honestly some of the recordings I’ve got these operas have better singing than these examples. But of course this is because of my lack of discernment, everyone says. That is the usual response. Let me say it for you
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-01-2020 at 21:19.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal98 View Post
    You do not even need to listen to crackling recordings to hear the differences between old school singers and modern school singers. All you need to do is compare them directly.



    Opera singing is a technique. Like all techniques, it can be forgotten or changed (not always for the better). The only reason why we keep mentioning the "good old days" is because something has happened to the transmission of knowledge in opera over the last decades, and the only way to prove it is to compare singers in time. But it not a question of time as DavidA keeps making it about. It is a question of knowledge being lost or corrupted. This is what is killing opera slowly. And to be honest, the decline of singing is much worst than one season of the Met being cancelled.

    Here are some videos to prove the point being made. If anyone as anything to say against the arguments being presented in these videos (looking at you DavidA), let him or her present counter-arguments instead of simple dismissive answers.







    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Come on then what are you doing practically to produce better voices. Telling people like me who can’t sing anyway about it will not do any good. In any case I never thought that Callas had a remarkable voice. As Solti says in his autobiography, Tebaldi and other singers had greater voices. It was a stage animal that Callas excelled as
    To be honest, I feel rether impuissant. I can hardly go to my local conservatoire to tell the students that their teachers are not properly developing their voices (which is actually the case). But TC being a forum for lovers of classical music, it is, I believe, the best place to have a proper discussion regarding voices. A lot of the participants on this forum are singers or know singers and can therefore spread the message. Knowing this, I try to support my claim that modern voices are not as well developed as the ones of older singers with elaborated arguments, like the ones presented in the videos that I posted earlier (see above).

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  4. #138
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    Of course no one beats them because it is the rule of faith with you that the past is always better. That’s fine but it’s just your subjective opinion. I have recordings where the singing is better than this imo. In any case where did you see that we need huge voices for Mozart?
    Have you even listened to the videos DavidA? If so, what do you think of these singers?
    Last edited by Parsifal98; Oct-01-2020 at 20:55.

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  6. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    You’re very good at writing smart messages but I’m just asking you what practically would you do to improve the standard of singing which you’re crowing on about. I assume you are a qualified voice teacher of course? I assume you mentor young singers?
    Oh, I see...you don't believe that a consumer is entitled to an opinion....Yikes.

    I did not proffer solutions because, funnily enough, I don't know why it is happening... which is why I raised my concerns here in the hope that it might encourage debate and, yes, remedies and solutions to improve the entertainment I enjoy.

    I did previously try asking around our local bus station to see if anyone had ideas...then the park... but it eventually occurred to me that an internet discussion board with a sub-forum specifically on opera and frequented by professionals and fellow enthusiasts might be the place to talk about opera... D'oh.

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  8. #140
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal98 View Post
    Have you even listened to the videos? If so, what do you think of these singers?
    Yes. I’ve heard better.

  9. #141
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    Oh, I see...you don't believe that a consumer is entitled to an opinion....Yikes.

    I did not proffer solutions because, funnily enough, I don't know why it is happening... which is why I raised my concerns here in the hope that it might encourage debate and, yes, remedies and solutions to improve the entertainment I enjoy.

    I did previously try asking around our local bus station to see if anyone had ideas...then the park... but it eventually occurred to me that an internet discussion board with a sub-forum specifically on opera and frequented by professionals and fellow enthusiasts might be the place to talk about opera... D'oh.
    I see so you haven’t a clue? So all you can do is go onto a journey man like me about how things were so much better in the past? That is your solution? Like the guy who stands at the touchline of the football match and tells everyone how much better players were in the past? All that in WG Grace’s day Joe Root would be lucky to bat at number 11?
    So come on what great ideas have you hit upon? Surely people are overflowing with them here. I’m listening to a broadcast from the Met at the moment which is highly enjoyable and the singing is a very high standard and frankly I don’t know what you’re complaining about.
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-01-2020 at 21:13.

  10. #142
    Senior Member Bonetan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    No the inadequacy of the recordings. Hasn't that occurred to you?

    Of course though this is the argument that is always fallen back upon. Because we don’t hear the amazing voices of these people then it’s our inadequacies as the listeners. But maybe it’s just because they are not coming through the speakers? And maybe it’s just that people are fondly imagining them?
    Why would that occur to me? Are the JB Steane's of the world who've written extensively about these treasured recordings imagining things as well in your opinion? You've already admitted that you're a casual, therefore you have nothing of value to contribute to this discussion. You're simply unable to recognize great singing. Without taking the necessary time to listen to these recordings, none of us are. I was a casual once too...

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  12. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    I see so you haven’t a clue? So all you can do is go onto a journey man like me about how things were so much better in the past? That is your solution? Like the guy who stands at the touchline of the football match and tells everyone how much better players were in the past? All that in WG Grace’s day Joe Root would be lucky to bat at number 11?
    So come on what great ideas have you hit upon? Surely people are overflowing with them here. I may not listening to a broadcast from the Met at the moment which is highly enjoyable and the singing is a very high standard and I don’t know what you’re moaning about
    Enough.

    I posited that there are problems. I did not offer a solution...since I don't have one.

    I am not asking you to agree. I know you do not have a solution and I know you don't think I am entitled to even ask the question. I don't need to explain it any further to you.

    It might seem like gobbledygook to you but it is what I want to talk about and I don't need your permission to discuss whatever I choose.

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  14. #144
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    What a shame! This could have been such an interesting thread, but someone seems determined just to be argumentative for no constructive reason.

    N.

  15. #145
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Yes. I’ve heard better.
    Share some; maybe that will put the argument to rest.
    Alan

  16. #146
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    Please refrain from personal comments. Focus on the MET, its closing, and general operas issues in general. A few posts have been removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal98 View Post
    But I do want people to equal her so that I can go see an opera live and be amazed by a thrilling dramatic voice instead of being disappointed by undevelopped voices doing their best on the stage. And stop it with the "it's only since her death she's become a legend"... Callas was called La Divina before she even became famous and she was even called Soprano absoluta del siglo by the Mexican crowd as early as 1952 as you can see on this picture...

    Attachment 143817

    But this is not even about Callas. It is about new voices not having the same qualities as older singers. It is about the singing tradition slowly dying. You may believe, DavidA, that campaigning as we are doing for better voices is futile. But in order to solve a problem, the first big step is to recognize there is one. Something you seem incapable of doing.
    What really brought this home to me was I was reading an 1950s booked called The Record Guide reviewing opera recordings issued on LP. You could tell that the authors were enthusiastic, but not uncritical, of the new versions being issued on LP with all those new singers who were celebrated then and we still revere some today.

    What struck me most were the assumptions the authors felt able to make.

    Of course there was a whole new generation of excellent singers
    & the new versions were a big improvement technically on the old
    & all the versions were cast from strength whichever you preferred
    & you could expect a really strong performance whether it was Milan, Rome, Florence, Bayreuth, London, New York, Paris etc etc

    ...it made me so envious!!

    I don't know precisely what worked before. Might it involve drawing deeply on local talent, bringing on young singers for years through the ranks and letting them learn their craft that way? That seems to have been the case in Rome (see Gobbi's autobiography) and Covent Garden (according to Joan Sutherland) or more specifically, Covent Garden before Solti.

    Does anyone know if that was how it worked historically at the Met? You had Tucker, Peerce, Merrill, Roberta Peters, Milanov, McCracken, Warren and others who were all stalwarts. But you also had Sutherland saying she sang with a different tenor in Traviata each night. They also had long tours which cannot have been easy...

    Penny for your thoughts?

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  19. #148
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonetan View Post
    Why would that occur to me? Are the JB Steane's of the world who've written extensively about these treasured recordings imagining things as well in your opinion? You've already admitted that you're a casual, therefore you have nothing of value to contribute to this discussion. You're simply unable to recognize great singing. Without taking the necessary time to listen to these recordings, none of us are. I was a casual once too...
    I read John Steane with interest and I have one of his books. But I do not share his interest in singers of the past who are recorded very inadequately. My wife incidentally is a professional musician and also a trained singer and she has the same opinion as I do!
    Now if that is your hobby and your interest and that is great. I have contributed to the discussion but all you can say is personal remarks. When you say that I am unable to recognise great singing that is a purely subjective remark on your part and I would thank you not to keep making personal remarks. Of course have contributed things of value to this discussion and said that Mozart and the period before him is done better than before. Unfortunately you seem to be able to take no disagreement of opinion. Sorry but it’s very disappointing when people like you do that
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-02-2020 at 07:00.

  20. #149
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Share some; maybe that will put the argument to rest.
    I did say to people to tune into the Met broadcasts this week when Mozart is being sung so you can get it in context. Anyone done that?

    Just reading a review of the Tito: “ Elina Garanca is heart-wrenchingly convincing as the tormented Sesto, conveying his agony and inspiring sympathy while simultaneously singing the difficult music effortlessly. Barbara Frittoli pulls off the practically impossible role of Vitellia with appropriate haughtiness and a ringing chest voice on her low notes. As Sesto’s long-suffering friend Annio, Kate Lindsey adds further support to her reputation as a rising star in the opera world – one who will hopefully return to sing Sesto in future seasons. Giuseppe Filianoti’s Tito starts shakily but shines in the second act, especially during his extended sections of conflicted solo recitative. Lucy Crowe makes much of the small role of Servilia, with especially convincing acting in her duet with Annio and her subsequent scene with Tito. As Publio, Oren Gradus delivers his one aria gracefully and lends a strong bass voice to several ensembles. The cast is supported by a powerful and beautiful-voiced (if somewhat blank-faced) chorus.”
    Agree!
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-02-2020 at 07:06.

  21. #150
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    What a shame! This could have been such an interesting thread, but someone seems determined just to be argumentative for no constructive reason.

    N.
    Well come on Mr Conte, I have made one statement - that we do Mozart is better - and certain people argue. I also direct people to the Met broadcast (which is the topic - see the mod) to hear it done. Yet people just argue. How am I being argumentative for no constructive reason?
    Last edited by DavidA; Oct-02-2020 at 06:58.

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