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13

Coloratura. It's what coloratura sopranos are named after. Basically coloratura are fast broken chords or melodic patterns subdividing syllables. While all vocal types can use that embellishment, the time/frequency "Unschärferelation" gives the soprano the best pitch at producing well-rounded individually recognizable notes at comparatively fast speed. ...


13

OK, I think I've tracked this down. My college's library doesn't have the specific version of the score you're looking at, but I found the same passage in two different editions. Neither edition has measure numbers, and they deal with barlines very differently during this passage. In one edition, when Violetta starts the word "ah!" and sings the cascading ...


13

I've never seen this symbol before, but according to Dolmetsch, this triangle indicates: strongly accented then immediate diminuendo It's worth nothing that the example they give is also from Rossini, in his overture to Il signor Bruschino: And this discussion on a Finale forum indicates that Rossini makes triangles of many of his crescendo and ...


9

No, I don't think it is the music per se. I think the reason you see more "postmodernist" stagings (and BTW, the Germans have a great word for this, Regieoper, "director's opera," which leaves the modern/postmodern distinction out of it) is that (1) a historically accurate 18th century staging would look very strange to contemporary audiences, since almost ...


6

The full term is "prova all'italiana". There are numerous references to this online; nearly all of them linked with the German (almost) equivalent "sitzprobe". It is easy to understand the meaning of the German phrase, it is literally a "seated-rehearsal", where the singers sing with the orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups. It is ...


6

Actually, it was Wagner who revolutionized the operatic stage. (Of course, one of his reforms was to dispense with the term "opera," which he replaced with Music Drama.) It was at his Festival Playhouse in Bayreuth that the following innovations took hold: Hidden orchestra in a sunken pit. Darkened theater. No boxes (except for King Ludwig), ...


6

By "original Russian," I assume you mean one using Russian/Cyrillic script? If so, for cases like this I find it's easier to search the title in the original language. Thus an Internet search for "boris godunov libretto" may not find what you're looking for, but using some high-level sleuthing (that is, Wikipedia), you can replace "...


5

Okay, here's an answer, although it might not be the one you're hoping for... Having listened through to Stravinsky's Mavra following the score a couple of times, I can't find material significantly similar to Blanter's Katyusha either. That doesn't mean, of course, that there is no possibility of a link, but to my ears there is no easily discernible one. ...


5

I can't answer specifically for Mozart and Beethoven, but Handel's operas were the great public sensation of their day; this article from the London Victoria & Albert Museum gives a little flavour of the 'opera fever' of the 1720s. 18th Century Opera


5

The Russian libretto for Boris Godunov (which is to say, "Борис Годунов") is available online here: http://musorgskiy1839.narod.ru/boris.htm. Full scores and parts are available on IMSLP.


5

Yes, the numbering restarts at the beginning of each act. This is standard across all subgenres of opera. But intra-act numbering conventions vary depending on the style. If it's a number opera, the measure numbering restarts at the beginning of each number. But if we're looking at a continuous single act (like those in Wagner, for example), then the ...


5

TL;DR: Just skim the headings. The rest is sourced quotations supporting each point. Is the premise valid? Yes Few famous conductors have worked in dance with any frequency over the last half century. [1] Other quotations below support this as well. Limited control The conductor is often secondary to the choreographer and there may be multiple conductors ...


4

Tutte Le Corde tells you to release the left pedal. The earlier marking Una Corda tells you to press down the left pedal. The left pedal is sometimes called the “soft” pedal. It makes the sound softer by shifting the piano hammers so they only strike one string at a time (hence Una Corda, which is Italian for “one string”). Tutta Le Corde is Italian for “all ...


4

Yes, this is some character encoding issue, often the result of a hyphen, en-dash, or em-dash. In the upper example, the translation presumably uses one of these to separate different speakers: –The painter was there. –Cavaradossi? The bottom example seems to be an em-dash: The facts—who accuses me?


3

You will hear female opera singers using chest and mixed voice in the bottom of their ranges. But that's a small proportion of their range, which is so much larger than most pop singers'.


3

Don't let yourself be fazed by reading confusing things about Maria Callas' voice. During the years making her famous as a singer, she covered a ridiculous breadth of soprano fachs, partly at the same time in different productions. In her diva years, her voice deteriorated but she still swept the audience with her interpretation and stage presence. At any ...


3

The prova all'italiana is the first rehearsal that put togheter singers chorus and the orchestra that usually play on stage performing the opera just like an concert... it is used to put togheter just the music an singing and that's it. After that there are 3 "prove generali" the first with all of the opera set but just with the piano playing the music then ...


3

A very good question... G&S certainly deserve credit for bringing orchestration and original composition to the variety hall and hence musical theatre. However, classical and romantic music are specific forms that have their own generally accepted 'rules' of musical composition, style, performance and instrumentation. Purists will point out that G&S ...


3

You mean that they consider Sullivan's work for the commercial theatre less respectable than Mozart's, Verdi's etc? (We're not talking about Baroque/Classical/Romantic etc. categorisation I imagine?) I don't know. You'll have to ask them. Perhaps because they were English. The music hall song in which the protagonist 'changed his name from Bloggs to ...


3

Are you sure that chiaroscuro necessarily relates to vocal timbre? Do you have a source that specifically makes that connection? I ask because, in my experience, chiaroscuro pertained to other elements of the composition and production. Most specifically, it pertains to the relationship between the more neutral (and perhaps static) recitative and the more ...


3

Singers could use the full score if they wanted to. Normally they use a so-called vocal score which has all the vocal parts and a piano reduction of the orchestra (used for rehearsals). For some works still under copyright the vocal scores are sold and for others they are rented out and tightly controlled, everybody has to return their score at the end of ...


2

It sounds like a mistake in the score. Just like you occasionally see typos in published books, "errata" can pop-up every now and then in a score. I'd recommend using the nearest measure numbers before and after this one to confirm if it's just one fluke, or the entire score is mislabeled.


2

A “technique” is (in general) a practical method to achieve something (such as an musical effect when singing) which requires skill. The “technique”, however, is the mastery of these methods and practical skills in a particular field (such as operatic singing). So when you say about a singer that they have a “solid technique”, I would understand that they ...


2

Mezzo Soprano refers to the range of voice that lies between the contralto and the soprano voices. A mezzo-soprano or mezzo is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types. The mezzo-soprano's vocal range usually extends from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3–A5 in ...


2

I use Opera Folio as the go-to place to get libretto. They usually have translations of the original text too, if you want to follow along. For some of the older public domain operas, IMSLP will have the libretto on their site. Generally, I go for the vocal scores on IMSLP because I like following along with the music. Sometimes the scores have the English ...


2

From the ever-reliable Dolmetsch page, which really ought to be where every question submitted here should redirect :-=) , recitative can be: recitativo secco or recativo parlante literally 'dry' (seco) or 'spoken' (parlante with only a very simple chordal accompaniment this is a rapid dialogue which carries forward the plot, particularly in ...


2

Kunitz (1961) lists 16 versions that were in use between 1800 and 1850, from C-alto (unison) through A-basso (minor tenth below notation) and gives examples for their use. So the answer seems to be "only the A-basso one".


2

Basically, the dances are separated into two main groups in the opera. The first dance is No. 8, and the remaining dances are found in No. 17. By these "numbers" we quite literally mean that they're numbered this way in the full opera score; it's a practice called number opera. So numbers 8 and 17 don't apply to the dances at all, just to their overall ...


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