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Thread: Rossini Tenor Heaven

  1. #46
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    In short I agree with those who have put forward the following views:

    1) Other than very early recordings (pre electrical era for me) we can hear enough to know how good singers from previous times were. (I would also add here that you can compare singers from the early stereo era with those singing today without the sound getting in the way.)

    2) When it comes to Verdi and Wagner, there were better singers in the past than there were today.

    3) When it comes to Baroque and Classical opera there were great singers in the past and great singers around today.

    What I think is missing from this discussion is a definition of what we mean by 'better singers' or 'great singing'. I think most of us mean from a technical point of view. That is supporting the voice with the breath, balance between the head voice mechanism and chest voice mechanism and articulation, all of which lead to legato singing across a wide range and with good diction. I wonder if some here mean that they have a pleasant voice or are good actors or interpreters.

    N.

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Handelian's Avatar
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    Can I make an appeal please respectfully that if people want to rubbish singing today they do so on the thread which is designed for it rather than here, which is meant, if I understand the OP, to give a positive view of Rossini tenor singing. I very much enjoy much of the singing today. Like every era there are some good and some bad - but I do not want my enjoyment spoiled by continual negative comments about today’s singers. So please with respect can we not have this everything in the past was better than everything today. It does not make a scrap of difference to what is out there anyway as no one out there is taking any notice of us anyway.
    Last edited by Handelian; Nov-26-2020 at 13:46.

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  5. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    Can I make an appeal please respectfully that if people want to rubbish singing today they do so on the thread which is designed for it rather than here, which is meant, if I understand the OP, to give a positive view of Rossini tenor singing. I very much enjoy much of the singing today. Like every era there are some good and some bad - but I do not want my enjoyment spoiled by continual negative comments about today’s singers. So please with respect can we not have this everything in the past was better than everything today. It does not make a scrap of difference to what is out there anyway as no one out there is taking any notice of us anyway.
    A very good point. There are different components that make up singing: technique, particular natural vocal sound, interpretation, musicality, dramatic abilities and visual elements. 'Better' could refer to all or just one of these.

    By the way has anyone actually said here that everything was better in the past than all of today's singers?

    N.

  6. #49
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    Discussing about Rossinian tenors, it's useful to know that they are usually divided into two groups:




    Baritenore (Leicester, Otello, Rinaldo, Pirro, Rodrigo di Dhu,..) is a rather dark, robust voice, with his tessitura basically central, with jumps to the high notes, capable of some 'coloratura di forza'. Andrea Nozzari was the great singer for those roles, during Rossini's lifetime. A recent good example is the American tenor Chris Merritt.



    Contraltino (Lindoro, Rodrigo, Don Narciso, Don Ramiro, Giannetto,..) is a singer more at ease with the top notes, the tessitura is placed higher and he is able to perform more extended and difficult 'coloratura di grazia'. Giovanni David was one of the leading singers at the beginning of the 19th century, and we have a wonderful tenor for these roles today in the Peruvian Juan Diego Flórez:



    There are also roles like Argirio that are somewhat in between both types, though in this case more inclined to the 'baritenore' type:



    About singers of the past vs. current singers, I basically agree with The Conte.

    The last few decades, however, has been really good ones for Rossini's singing.

    I sort of like also the recent release of Spyres and Brownlee.

  7. #50
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    Discussing about Rossinian tenors, it's useful to know that they are usually divided into two groups:




    Baritenore (Leicester, Otello, Rinaldo, Pirro, Rodrigo di Dhu,..) is a rather dark, robust voice, with his tessitura basically central, with jumps to the high notes, capable of some 'coloratura di forza'. Andrea Nozzari was the great singer for those roles, during Rossini's lifetime. A recent good example is the American tenor Chris Merritt.



    Contraltino (Lindoro, Rodrigo, Don Narciso, Don Ramiro, Giannetto,..) is a singer more at ease with the top notes, the tessitura is placed higher and he is able to perform more extended and difficult 'coloratura di grazia'. Giovanni David was one of the leading singers at the beginning of the 19th century, and we have a wonderful tenor for these roles today in the Peruvian Juan Diego Flórez:



    There are also roles like Argirio that are somewhat in between both types, though in this case more inclined to the 'baritenore' type:



    About singers of the past vs. current singers, I basically agree with The Conte.

    The last few decades, however, has been really good ones for Rossini's singing.

    I sort of like also the recent release of Spyres and Brownlee.
    I bow to you. I was wondering what a baritenor was. You should be a teacher.

  8. #51
    Senior Member Handelian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    I bow to you. I was wondering what a baritenor was. You should be a teacher.
    I always assumed it was one of those but never actually knew!

  9. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    A very good point. There are different components that make up singing: technique, particular natural vocal sound, interpretation, musicality, dramatic abilities and visual elements. 'Better' could refer to all or just one of these.

    By the way has anyone actually said here that everything was better in the past than all of today's singers?

    N.
    I don't think anyone has actually said that. However, there are numerous threads on here where any mention of a current-generation singer is immediately followed by an explanation of why singer 'X' from fifty years ago was infinitely better. I find this approach quite off-putting at times. We have some great singers in most fachs right now, and I prefer to enjoy and celebrate what we have, especially when what we have is great, rather than complain that it's not as good as it used to be.

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  11. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    Can I make an appeal please respectfully that if people want to rubbish singing today they do so on the thread which is designed for it rather than here, which is meant, if I understand the OP, to give a positive view of Rossini tenor singing. I very much enjoy much of the singing today. Like every era there are some good and some bad - but I do not want my enjoyment spoiled by continual negative comments about today’s singers. So please with respect can we not have this everything in the past was better than everything today. It does not make a scrap of difference to what is out there anyway as no one out there is taking any notice of us anyway.
    I respect your wishes, but I can assure you the bolded part is not true.

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