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Before choosing out of these three it might be instructive to remember that the role of Arturo was written for Rubini, who was renowned for the sweetness and ease of his coloratura in the upper register, which went right up to a high F. Pollione was written with a different, more robust tenor in mind, Domenico Donzelli, who had a much more robust instrument, but less facility in coloratura. He was followed by Gilbert Duprez, who is credited with being the first practitioner of the top C from the chest.

I know there are many for whom Corelli can do no wrong, but I'm not one of them. He was well known for his Pollione and, aside from some clumsiness in the coloratura, I really like him in the role, but a light, lyrical coloratura he was not and I would never consider him right for the role of Arturo. Admittedly the voice is absolutely splendid, the top notes glorious, but his singing is altogether to muscular and efforful for this delicate melody and he aspirates quite a few of his upward intervals. I'll admit that it's quite exciting, but I'm pretty sure it's not what Bellini had in mind.

That leaves me with the two younger tenors, neither of whom I enjoyed as much as Camarena in the previous round. Florez has a reedy sound that won't be to everyone's taste. Still, he sings the music elegantly and styishly, his top notes, though not delivered in the falsetto we are told Rubini employed, ring out securely. Alvarez is not so technically assured but I prefer the sound he makes.

I'm a bit stumped to be honest. I'm tempted to vote for Corelli just because of the sheer splendour of his voice, but really I should take into account that this is not how the music should sound. At this moment I really don't know who to choose.
 

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I can't deny that the moment I saw Corelli for this role, my immediate reaction was "No!". Much as he had a magnificent voice, he doesn't convey this character for me. It doesn't take much time for me to feel that Florez portrays the character more effectively. I'd add that I've seen Florez a few times in different roles, and find that he's very adaptable and excellent at portraying each character that he takes on - I'd class him as a singing actor rather than just a 'Park & Bark' style singer.
 

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I can't deny that the moment I saw Corelli for this role, my immediate reaction was "No!". Much as he had a magnificent voice, he doesn't convey this character for me. It doesn't take much time for me to feel that Florez portrays the character more effectively. I'd add that I've seen Florez a few times in different roles, and find that he's very adaptable and excellent at portraying each character that he takes on - I'd class him as a singing actor rather than just a 'Park & Bark' style singer.
I've only seen him once live, as Werther at Covent Garden, and I thought he was underpowered, both as a singer and actor. You felt throughout he was conserving his resources for the last two acts, but even then the performance was just a bit too low key. I've also seen him on video in La Fille du Régiment with Natalie Dessay and, in repetoire and a role more suited to him, he was terrific.

I think that he's the best of the three here, but I actually prefer the timbre of Alvarez's voice. That said, I'm going to give this one to Florez.
 

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This was a piece of cake for me. As wonderful as Corelli's voice is, it is all wrong IMO (running for cover) because it's like singing a nursery rhyme loud and robustly.
So I am left with two and as much as Alvarez did a lovely job, I just love Florez' sound despite the choral help in the background which seemed unfair to the other two but I guess we can wean stuff like that out.
 

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With all my respect to "old masters", Corelli seems to sing belcanto as if he sings verismo. Of two modern tenors Florez is the only one I've heard live and liked despite of peculiar timbre. Alvarez unfortunately came to my city when I had vacation. But of course, my ear for music is underdeveloped, to do it mildly.
You may feel your ear is undeveloped, but you're right. He is out of his depth here. On the other hand he is an excellent Pollione, especially on the second Callas Norma when he has Serafin to keep him in check, but, as I pointed out in my first post. Pollione is a very different kind of role from Arturo and the two roles were written for very different singers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With all my respect to "old masters", Corelli seems to sing belcanto as if he sings verismo. Of two modern tenors Florez is the only one I've heard live and liked despite of peculiar timbre. Alvarez unfortunately came to my city when I had vacation. But of course, my ear for music is underdeveloped, to do it mildly.
This is a great place to develop your ear. I've found this to be a kind place to learn how to voice your opinions as a developing forum member. There are a number of people here who greatly out class my knowledge but who don't lord it all over me with their knowledge. I knew little of male singers when I started but am now able to create contests for male singers that aren't embarassing and people seem to enjoy;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Before choosing out of these three it might be instructive to remember that the role of Arturo was written for Rubini, who was renowned for the sweetness and ease of his coloratura in the upper register, which went right up to a high F. Pollione was written with a different, more robust tenor in mind, Domenico Donzelli, who had a much more robust instrument, but less facility in coloratura. He was followed by Gilbert Duprez, who is credited with being the first practitioner of the top C from the chest.

I know there are many for whom Corelli can do no wrong, but I'm not one of them. He was well known for his Pollione and, aside from some clumsiness in the coloratura, I really like him in the role, but a light, lyrical coloratura he was not and I would never consider him right for the role of Arturo. Admittedly the voice is absolutely splendid, the top notes glorious, but his singing is altogether to muscular and efforful for this delicate melody and he aspirates quite a few of his upward intervals. I'll admit that it's quite exciting, but I'm pretty sure it's not what Bellini had in mind.

That leaves me with the two younger tenors, neither of whom I enjoyed as much as Camarena in the previous round. Florez has a reedy sound that won't be to everyone's taste. Still, he sings the music elegantly and styishly, his top notes, though not delivered in the falsetto we are told Rubini employed, ring out securely. Alvarez is not so technically assured but I prefer the sound he makes.

I'm a bit stumped to be honest. I'm tempted to vote for Corelli just because of the sheer splendour of his voice, but really I should take into account that this is not how the music should sound. At this moment I really don't know who to choose.
I thought this round would stump people. Yes Corelli is wrong, but he sparks debate certainly. I think Florez is best in video where you can see him looking so good and the voice is amplified.
 

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Three tenors, an Argentinian, a Peruvian, and an Italian wandered into an English china shop…which would cause the least damage? All three use aspirates to help negotiate the gentle vocal line, to a greater or lesser extent.

Corelli, of course, trained in a era in which these were used liberally, especially among male singers. Both Alvarez and Florez sing most sensitively, the former to a remarkable degree given his robust repertoire - he makes very smooth and beautiful sounds. Florez is, of course well known in his leggero repertoire. His voice, though, is not as ingratiating to me as the other two.

To my ears, Corelli has the most sheerly glamorous sound and the most spectacular high D (?) of the three. To be sure, his traversal of the aria might be called inelegant, however much he tries not to be. Our modern ears and our knowledge of how the aria should be sung demand the choice be one of his competitors.

But i cannot do that! I’ll take my lumps!
 

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A good legato is essential in this music, and everyone who sings it seems clear enough about that. The more pronounced effect of portamento is also very much in order here and there. But "here and there" doesn't mean "here, there and everywhere." Good taste requires that even in the most melting cantilena, some notes - probably the greater proportion - need to be attacked directly on the written pitch, without a lot of sliding and slithering around.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Think initials "F. C." His wallowing quite literally makes me think of someone crying while drunk, and I consider it unmusical.

Pleasantly remote from this treacly lugubriousness is the natural, elegant phrasing of Florez, whose shallow tone isn't my favorite tenor sound but who does nothing to annoy. Based on timbre alone, I prefer Alvarez to Florez, but there is distinct tightness and strain throughout that keeps my mind constantly on his effort in sustaining the music. I haven't listened much to Alvarez, but I suspect his voice was freer at an earlier date.

There's no great singing here, but all things considered I'm most comfortable with Florez. Only he is able to keep the music front and center and not distract me with some vocal or musical quirk.
 

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A good legato is essential in this music, and everyone who sings it seems clear enough about that. The more pronounced effect of portamento is also very much in order here and there. But "here and there" doesn't mean "here, there and everywhere." Good taste requires that even in the most melting cantilena, some notes - probably the greater proportion - need to be attacked directly on the written pitch, without a lot of sliding and slithering around.

You know where I'm going with this, don't you? Think initials "F. C." His wallowing quite literally makes me think of someone crying while drunk, and I consider it unmusical.

Pleasantly remote from this treacly lugubriousness is the natural, elegant phrasing of Florez, whose shallow tone isn't my favorite tenor sound but who does nothing to annoy. Based on timbre alone, I prefer Alvarez to Florez, but there is distinct tightness and strain throughout that keeps my mind constantly on his effort in sustaining the music. I haven't listened much to Alvarez, but I suspect his voice was freer at an earlier date.

There's no great singing here, but all things considered I'm most comfortable with Florez. Only he is able to keep the music front and center and not distract me with some vocal or musical quirk.
I do relate to your phrase because similarly, when I first heard his voice my comment was,"he sounds like a guy who just woke up in the morning.":D
 

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Corelli, while not ideal here, at least has a voice. The small, squeezed, constricted voices of the other two put them out of the running despite any greater sense of style. I might be alone in this but it is truly sad that these are now considered true operatic voices.
 

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I really can’t pick one out of these three, because Lauri-Volpi has me spoiled with his rendition: the only version that doesn’t feel over-repetitive to me. A powerful voice, yet used with a heartbreaking tenderness that captures the essence of the aria. A bit like a bel canto Corelli in this version (which makes sense…considering LV coached Corelli).
(This is an excerpt, starting after “al brillar..”)
 

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I really can’t pick one out of these three, because Lauri-Volpi has me spoiled with his rendition: the only version that doesn’t feel over-repetitive to me. A powerful voice, yet used with a heartbreaking tenderness that captures the essence of the aria. A bit like a bel canto Corelli in this version (which makes sense…considering LV coached Corelli).
(This is an excerpt, starting after “al brillar..”)
Sorry if this post is considered off-topic or rude. I am new to these forums, and meant no disrespect.
 

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I don't call Marcelo Alvarez and Juan Diego Florez' voices in any way squeezed or constricted.
There is no release, no proper resonance, no fullness of tone/richness of overtones. You might not call them constricted as such but even if they sound natural and "pretty" to you they are still technically singing with a constrictive technique. Certainly it's less obvious when comparing recordings and the difference would be much larger live, but I still cringe at the sound of Alvarez and Florez where nothing sounds particularly natural even if it's not overbearingly unpleasant.
 

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There is no release, no proper resonance, no fullness of tone/richness of overtones. You might not call them constricted as such but even if they sound natural and "pretty" to you they are still technically singing with a restrictive technique. Certainly it's less obvious when comparing recordings and the difference would be much larger live, but I still cringe at the sound of Alvarez and Florez where nothing sounds particularly natural even if it's not overbearingly unpleasant.
I agree with you that Corelli's voice is glorious, but in this particular piece I'd rather listen to Alvarez or Florez, constricted or not. Neither would be my first choice and we have already heard others who do the piece more justice, Fleta and Lauri-Volpi, to name two, but Corelli literally murders the music. Poor Bellini gets completely lost and all we hear is Corelli.
 

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I agree with you that Corelli's voice is glorious, but in this particular piece I'd rather listen to Alvarez or Florez, constricted or not. Neither would be my first choice and we have already heard others who do the piece more justice, Fleta and Lauri-Volpi, to name two, but Corelli literally murders the music. Poor Bellini gets completely lost and all we hear is Corelli.
Speaking as a musician, I have to say that opera seems to me uniquely problematic in that most of what I hear is in some way unsatisfactory. Opera is complex, and I can't think of another area of classical music where the peculiar sound of the instrument on which the music is "played" weighs so heavily. How much the sheer sound of a voice, or even valid considerations of vocal technique, counts for us against the elements of musicianship, style and interpretive imagination differs from person to person and even for the very same person, depending on the singer. For someone who's an all-around musician, a great deal of singing that's vocally "beautiful" or "exciting" but otherwise fails to do justice to the music or drama can be uninteresting or even offensive.
 
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