View Poll Results: Who sang it better?

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  • Lehmann

    21 80.77%
  • Fleming

    5 19.23%
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Thread: SOPRANO TOURNAMENT: (By Request): Lehmann vs Fleming

  1. #31
    Member Parsifal98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    So you honestly believe you know more about opera singing than Ms Fleming? I find that most interesting! It is of course not to produce a nasal sound but to project the sound forward and produce more resonance. I have seen vocal coaches do it. I can actually remember attending a Peter Pears master class many years ago where he was making the same point. Mind you, what did he know?
    So you folks like a more old fashioned style of singing? You are entitled to your point of view.
    You've just illustrated by your support of Madam Fleming's exercice that your knowledge of the voice is as lacking as hers. Viva is indeed more knowledgeable than a great deal of current operatic singers, for if it were the opposite, then the level of singing would be much higher.

    And what knowledge would enable you to discredit Viva's comments? You have shown time and time again you profound disinterest for historical recordings, which are the main gateway into understanding and appreciating the grand operatic tradition. So many times on this forum have you expressed scorn towards members who appreciate historical recordings, saying that the sound is so bad one cannot hear a thing. Well, such willfull ignorance more than disqualifies you from mocking and arrogantly putting down members who's knowledge elevate this forum.

    And by the way, it has nothing to do with style, but with the natural working of the vocal organ. There is a reason why barely any singers can bring justice to Wagner, Verdi, Bellini, Puccini, Mascagni, Berlioz, Bizet and so many other great composers. The teaching is wrong, and Madam Fleming is one exemple out of many of the misinformation and stupidity being passed down to young singers who are only willing to learn.

    And now David, instead of accusing us of nostalgia, why don't you show us examples of modern singers who can comapre to the likes of Hans Reinmar, Gino Bechi, Lina Bruna-Rasa, Ebe Stignani, Gotthelf Pistor, Alexander Kipnis, Emmanuel List, Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Tito Schipa, Beniamino Gigli, Enrico Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Giuseppe di Luca, Riccardo Stracciari, Florence Austral, Kirsten Flagstad, Marjorie Lawrence, Frederich Schorr, Lauritz Melchior, Ludwig Suthaus, Ezio Pinza, Cesare Siepi, Georges Thill etc.... (I could name so many other singers....). Of course some singers of the past were sub-par, but the amount of fantastic singers was so much higher than it is today.
    Last edited by Parsifal98; Jan-13-2021 at 23:28.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerobat View Post
    There seem to be some very exciting younger singers around in most fachs at present, and I'm looking forward to seeing them develop, and hopefully being able to see them in opera houses again in the next few years. My personal view is that we should be looking for, supporting, and developing emerging talent rather than looking back to the past.
    Well one of the best way to support young singers is to give them everything they need in order for them to compare with their more than eminent collegues who are now gone. A tradition survives by keeping the standards to a high level, which demands a great knowledge of history. Looking back to the past, as you say, enables us to gain such a knowledge. Otherwise, we are lost and prone to commit mistakes which could easily be avoided. Teaching to sing in the mask (aka nasality) and to not use the chest voice are such mistakes which could have been avoided...
    Last edited by Parsifal98; Jan-13-2021 at 23:45.

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  5. #33
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    ...and, in many cases, we hear what we want to hear.
    I think it's exceptionally easy to do this in the case of singing.

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  7. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    ...and, in many cases, we hear what we want to hear.
    And believe what we want to believe!

  8. #35
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal98 View Post
    And now David, instead of accusing us of nostalgia, why don't you show us examples of modern singers who can comapre to the likes of Hans Reinmar, Gino Bechi, Lina Bruna-Rasa, Ebe Stignani, Gotthelf Pistor, Alexander Kipnis, Emmanuel List, Mario del Monaco, Franco Corelli, Tito Schipa, Beniamino Gigli, Enrico Caruso, Rosa Ponselle, Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Giuseppe di Luca, Riccardo Stracciari, Florence Austral, Kirsten Flagstad, Marjorie Lawrence, Frederich Schorr, Lauritz Melchior, Ludwig Suthaus, Ezio Pinza, Cesare Siepi, Georges Thill etc.... (I could name so many other singers....). Of course some singers of the past were sub-par, but the amount of fantastic singers was so much higher than it is today.
    An excellent challenge, unlikely to be met. Here's another: name one opera by Verdi or Wagner which could be cast as well today as it could during the decades between 1900 and 1950. For that matter, extend that period to 1980.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parsifal98 View Post
    Well one of the best way to support young singers is to give them everything they need in order for them to compare with their more than eminent collegues who are now gone. A tradition survives by keeping the standards to a high level, which demands a great knowledge of history. Looking back to the past, as you say, enables us to gain such a knowledge. Otherwise, we are lost and prone to commit mistakes which could easily be avoided. Teaching to sing in the mask (aka nasality) and to not use the chest voice are such mistakes which could have been avoided...
    In that case, my challenge to all current vocal coaches is to do this in a positive way, not just by highlighting the negative elements. I coach other areas, and my approach is always to highlight each individuals strengths, whilst helping the to develop the areas where they have weaknesses. Unfortunately, what I see on here is simply a high degree of attack on the weaknesses, which I find quite discouraging for the development of future artists - the usual approach is simply to point out that 'x' from the past was so much better. One area where I agree wholeheartedly is the lack of development of chest voice in a lot of (not all) modern singers. However, rather than simply criticise, it's necessary to work with coaches and teachers to develop this area! I don't see why this isn't being done, and from comments made earlier it would seem that we have so folks on here who are active in the area of voice tuition and coaching.

    I'd add that I'm not a vocalist or vocal coach - this last person who tried to teach me to sing said something along the lines of "You have a voice that could curdle milk!". For this reason I've stuck with being an instrumentalist, but have a great love of vocal music of all types. When I'm coaching people, regardless of subject, motivating people to develop in a positive way is my most important area of focus.

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  11. #37
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    I might be naive but when I hear someone who is a leader in their field, I do look at what I can learn rather than try and pull them apart. It always seems rather presumptuous when you have had people who have been internationally acclaimed for us to try and pull them apart. So when I have heard, talked to or interviewed people who are leaders in their field, I have always tried to learn from them rather than put my own four-pennyworth in. Seems to me reasonable that they might just know something we can all learn from.
    Last edited by Handelian; Jan-14-2021 at 11:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    An excellent challenge, unlikely to be met. Here's another: name one opera by Verdi or Wagner which could be cast as well today as it could during the decades between 1900 and 1950. For that matter, extend that period to 1980.
    And I don't think anyone would object to the sound quality on studio recordings made 1950-80.

    N.

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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    I might be naive but when I hear someone who is a leader in their field, I do look at what I can learn rather than try and pull them apart. It always seems rather presumptuous when you have had people who have been internationally acclaimed for us to try and pull them apart. So when I have heard, talked to or interviewed people who are leaders in their field, I have always tried to learn from them rather than put my own four-pennyworth in. Seems to me reasonable that they might just know something we can all learn from.
    The concept of great singers not necessarily making great teachers is not new. Fleming is/was a leader in the field of singing. The video some of us were commenting on was of Fleming as a voice buider. Can you name any of the singers she has taught and improved their technique?

    I think we can see from the many threads comparing two singers that people are mentioning positive things about the singers even when they prefer the other singer.

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    The concept of great singers not necessarily making great teachers is not new. Fleming is/was a leader in the field of singing. The video some of us were commenting on was of Fleming as a voice buider. Can you name any of the singers she has taught and improved their technique?

    I think we can see from the many threads comparing two singers that people are mentioning positive things about the singers even when they prefer the other singer.

    N.
    You are, I assume, a leader in the field of voice coaching? More so than Fleming? Just that I believe when someone has risen to the top of the international ladder it might be a good idea not to develop an attitude that we know better than they do. There is a reason why they are at the top!

    The problem to me is when person(s) always without fail has negative things to say about singers of the modern era. It seems they have a set formula which they trot out and squeeze everyone into. I just feel sorry that some people can't seem to enjoy any of today's singers which I think is their loss.
    Last edited by Handelian; Jan-14-2021 at 14:11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    And I don't think anyone would object to the sound quality on studio recordings made 1950-80.

    N.
    You might be surprised. Especially 1950s to 1970s. Things generally improved during the 1980s and 90s. Some (not all) of the recordings made pre-1980 are truly dreadful. I'm perhaps unusual in that I've built two dedicated music rooms at home, one purely for listening and watching, and one for playing. The one that's relevant here is the 'listening and watching' room, which has some very high end audio equipment. This is incredibly revealing of the music that's played and doesn't tolerate poor quality recordings, as every detail and nuance is audible and obvious.

    Having invested a lot of time and effort in building a room that's intended to bring us as close as possible to a 'live' performance, it's then painful to put in a poor quality recording where the sound reproduction is so poor it detracts from the performance.

  18. #42
    Senior Member Azol's Avatar
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    Not each label early recordings are to be avoided, for example, early stereo Decca (55-60) is in exquisite sound, I wish EMI could have achieved the same results in 60-70s... But to discover wonders of operatic singing you have to dive deep in the muck of these.

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  20. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    You are, I assume, a leader in the field of voice coaching? More so than Fleming? Just that I believe when someone has risen to the top of the international ladder it might be a good idea not to develop an attitude that we know better than they do. There is a reason why they are at the top!

    The problem to me is when person(s) always without fail has negative things to say about singers of the modern era. It seems they have a set formula which they trot out and squeeze everyone into. I just feel sorry that some people can't seem to enjoy any of today's singers which I think is their loss.
    Are you still asking people about their credentials.... Wow I thought we were now passed that. How unfortunate. You would rather ask such an irrelevant question than prove your point and present us with exemples of great modern singing. Well then, let me do it for you.

    Here are two singers which I believe are on the right path. First off is Saioa Hernandez singing Suicidio from La Gioconda:



    Now she is not perfect and falls slightly short of really being able to compare with other exponents of the role like Callas or Milanov. I do not think that her registers are as well-coordinated as they should be and she sounds tense on the high notes. But listen to her chest voice. This is what opera is about. Strong, dramatic and exciting declamatory power (now there should also be moments of beautiful lyricism with the usage of mezza voce, but we are not necessarily looking for such moments in an aria like Suicidio).

    Secondly, here's Ernesto Petti singing an aria from Nabucco:



    Then again not perfect. The voice sounds heavy and inflexible, but at leat the registers seem to be well-coordinated (I might be wrong though...). But FINALLY a baritone who does not sound woofy and out of his fach. The voice is resonant, full of squillo and, dare I say, beautiful.

    There you go.
    Last edited by Parsifal98; Jan-14-2021 at 17:56. Reason: Mistakes and typos

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  22. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerobat View Post
    In that case, my challenge to all current vocal coaches is to do this in a positive way, not just by highlighting the negative elements. I coach other areas, and my approach is always to highlight each individuals strengths, whilst helping the to develop the areas where they have weaknesses. Unfortunately, what I see on here is simply a high degree of attack on the weaknesses, which I find quite discouraging for the development of future artists - the usual approach is simply to point out that 'x' from the past was so much better. One area where I agree wholeheartedly is the lack of development of chest voice in a lot of (not all) modern singers. However, rather than simply criticise, it's necessary to work with coaches and teachers to develop this area! I don't see why this isn't being done, and from comments made earlier it would seem that we have so folks on here who are active in the area of voice tuition and coaching.

    I'd add that I'm not a vocalist or vocal coach - this last person who tried to teach me to sing said something along the lines of "You have a voice that could curdle milk!". For this reason I've stuck with being an instrumentalist, but have a great love of vocal music of all types. When I'm coaching people, regardless of subject, motivating people to develop in a positive way is my most important area of focus.
    You are absolutely right that we should aim towards more positivity. I am sometimes guilty of being too negative, even though I wouldn't consider pointing ou defects and deficiencies to always be a sign of negativity. Matter of perception I guess.

    To be honest, I think that members like me who believe there has been a decline in operatic singing put a lot of emphasis on weaknesses because we are often discussing with people (one to be more precise) who would rather resort to not-so-witty put-downs rather than present us counter-arguments. There is noting more insulting than argumenting for something only to receive as an answer a pile of sophisms. And often these people (still looking at the same person) end up saying there are no problems. Well I am sorry but there are. And accepting such a fact would enable us to move on to the more positive elements, like possible solutions or technical tips.

    Another reason why we put so much emphasis on weaknesses is that more and more professional singers have decided, it seems, to not address them at all, putting them instead under the cover of style or interpretation. I am sorry but wobbling or being out of pitch is not a question of style, but rather of technique. Accepting that a singer like Christine Goerke can gives us performances like this





    without being sent back the the training studio is rather saddening. A tongue should not move like this. It is an easy sign of undesirable tension. As anyone at the Met picked it up? The answer is a resounding no. Corelli, who had a caprino in his early career, realized he had a problem, went back to training and solved it. He was surrounded by singers who were technically proficient, which forced him to take action. Unfortunately, the standards have dropped so low that we applaud such performances from Madam Goerke and believe them to be examples of great art.
    Last edited by Parsifal98; Jan-14-2021 at 17:24.

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  24. #45
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handelian View Post
    You are, I assume, a leader in the field of voice coaching? More so than Fleming? Just that I believe when someone has risen to the top of the international ladder it might be a good idea not to develop an attitude that we know better than they do. There is a reason why they are at the top!

    The problem to me is when person(s) always without fail has negative things to say about singers of the modern era. It seems they have a set formula which they trot out and squeeze everyone into. I just feel sorry that some people can't seem to enjoy any of today's singers which I think is their loss.
    When you were wearing your DavidA hat, you carried on like this incessantly, arrogantly and pointlessly challenging other members' qualifications and right to criticize singers and voice teachers. It really was excruciating. Now, wearing your Baroque wig, you're at it again. Please be advised that criticizing singers and voice teachers is something we do here. We enjoy it and we don't need your permission to do it. Kindly stop making a pest of yourself, get a good book on etiquette, and find the chapter on proper conversational behavior. Thank you.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Jan-14-2021 at 17:40.

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