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  • Stick with historic basses

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Diversify the basses

    Votes: 5 71.4%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I actually have a very good representation of historic basses for the contest but aside from the wonderful Sam Ramey I am clueless about basses in the last 30 years. I actually get the feeling the best basses and baritones are historic. I can stick with them but if you want to suggest some more recent ones I'll check them out. I now have about 60 bass selections for the contest and about 730 selections total. About half my selections are sopranos as I know them best and by far they have the best selection. It is much easier to get 6 or 9 selections for sopranos as opposed to lower voices. I'm going to do a poll. Shall I stick with historic basses or diversify.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Samuel Ramey, Rene Pape, Cesare Siepi, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Ruggero Raimondi, Kurt Moll
Perhaps in the last 40/50 years! :) I'm not a bass guy.
I do have some Siepe, I just didn't know what era he was. Thanks. I remember someone saying that early Ghiaurov is best but they don't always give dates. I think of modern as being post 70's. Perhaps I am wrong.
 

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I may be forgetting someone, but over the last 30 years I think Moll is the only one who can give historic basses a contest. The responses show how dire the bass situation is as many of the singers listed are bass baritones who often sang baritone roles.

I think if you're to do contests with modern singers it should be against other modern singers because historically they don't stand a chance.
 

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I do have some Siepe, I just didn't know what era he was. Thanks. I remember someone saying that early Ghiaurov is best but they don't always give dates. I think of modern as being post 70's. Perhaps I am wrong.
I think more of 1950+.
Some that fit that bill are Christoff, Siepi, Treigle, Ghiuarov (married to Freni I think?), Pinza (at the end of his run)
 

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I may be forgetting someone, but over the last 30 years I think Moll is the only one who can give historic basses a contest. The responses show how dire the bass situation is as many of the singers listed are bass baritones who often sang baritone roles.

I think if you're to do contests with modern singers it should be against other modern singers because historically they don't stand a chance.
I hate to agree with this, but in general I do - depending, that is, on how much the competitive aspect of the exercise matters to us. A close sports match is more enjoyable than a wipe-out. In singing, though, there are things to learn that we'll miss if we don't hear examples from past and present side by side. I see value in both approaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think more of 1950+.
Some that fit that bill are Christoff, Siepi, Treigle, Ghiuarov (married to Freni I think?), Pinza (at the end of his run)
I have all of them. I must be doing ok. After Bonetan and Woodduck agreeing, I am not going to bust my butt finding new basses when the best were historic.
 

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I think more of 1950+.
Some that fit that bill are Christoff, Siepi, Treigle, Ghiuarov (married to Freni I think?), Pinza (at the end of his run)
If those guys are modern so are Elvis, wonder bread and I Love Lucy!

We could debate how to break down the recorded history of singing into periods and "ages" (Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.), which might be fun, but singing in the immediate postwar years was unmistakably different from what it's become subsequently. The '50s through the '70s might not have been the Golden Age of opera, but thanks to the confluence of technology and the remains of a great singing tradition it was the golden age of opera recordings, producing most of the recordings of complete operas which most of us still look to today as favorites and reference recordings. Many of us didn't know how good we had it when within our lifetimes it was possible to assemble more than one - or even one! - great cast for a performance or recording of a Verdi or Wagner opera.

Now we know how good we had it. As the song says, you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
 

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You could also add Paolo Montarsolo - but then you'd need to do one for basso buffo

P.S. One of the more popular current singers of the buffo roles is Alessandro Corbelli who considers himself to be a baritone, which I'd probably agree with.
 

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Samuel Ramey. Other than that, stick to historical basses (and even then, there...haven't been that many good basses in any era, especially not real basses rather than crushed down baritones)
My first experience singing opera on stage was a production of Barber with Ramey hired to sing Basilio. He was a hero of mine at the time so I was PUMPED. He ended up canceling and I've yet to forgive him :lol:
 
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