Opera For People Who Don’t Like It

Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

August 3, 2014
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Stage Directors The average opera has several principal singers, a few comprimario singers (opera speak for bit players), a chorus and sometimes dancers. Some supernumeraries might also be hired to carry big stuff, sit or…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

July 23, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

Conductor, noun (kǝn dǝk tǝr): A musician who plays no instrument, yet always gets top billing. Train Wreck, noun (trān rek): In ensemble music, the condition that results when one of the players or singers…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

June 22, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

Baritones and Basses Baritones are the sex gods of the opera world.* A baritone voice and hot looks seem to go together. The irony is that baritones, the hottest guys on the opera stage, are…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

May 18, 2014
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This is going to be long. There is just too much here to laugh at: Sopranos and Mezzo-Sopranos I used to have a wonderful vocal coach who, when she heard me say something that she…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

May 5, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

Tenors Yes, tenors get their own chapter. You’ll see why. Tenors and sopranos are natural enemies, passionate lovers or both. Whatever the state of the relationship, it is never dull. Tenors are the rock stars…

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Opera For People Who Don’t Like It

March 28, 2014
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Opera For People Who Don’t Like It

There was a time in the history of opera when singers ruled. If you had a great voice, it wouldn’t matter if you looked like a gorilla. You were in. Stage directors would never dare…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

March 15, 2014
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Auditions If you think job interviews are the liver and Brussels sprouts on the dinner plate of life, try doing an audition sometime. An audition makes a job interview look like a triple-dip double chocolate…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

March 8, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

The So-Called Life of an Opera Singer Life upon the wicked stage ain’t nothin’ for a girl. Ellie in Jerome Kern’s and Oscar Hammerstein II’s musical Show Boat* People outside “The Business” are fascinated when…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

March 2, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

THE FRENCH AND THE RUSSIANS Once everybody else saw that the Italians had come up with a Good Thing, other countries wanted to get in on it. I already covered the Germans in an earlier…

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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

February 17, 2014
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Opera for People Who Don’t Like It

DEATH, OPERATIC STYLE In most operas, somebody dies. Usually it’s the hero or the heroine, or both of them. Occasionally, someone else will get in on the act, too, not wanting to be left out…

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