An Interpretive Guide to Operatic Arias: A Handbook for Singers, Coaches, Teachers, and Students

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Penn State Press, 2003 - Music - 368 pages

A premier singer and master teacher here tells other singers how to get the most from 151 famous arias selected for their popularity or their greatness from 66 operas, ranging in time and style from Christopher Gluck to Carlisle Floyd, from Mozart to Menotti. "The most memorable thrills in an opera singer's life," according to the author's Introduction, "may easily derive from the great arias in his or her repertoire."

This book continues the work Martial Singher has done, in performances, in concerts, and in master classes and lessons, by drawing attention "not only to precise features of text, notes, and markings but also to psychological motivations and emotional impulses, to laughter and tears, to technical skills, to strokes of genius, and even here and there to variations from the original works that have proved to be fortunate."

For each aria, the author gives the dramatic and musical context, advice about interpretation, and the lyric--with the original language (if it is not English) and an idiomatic American English translation, in parallel columns. The major operatic traditions--French, German, Italian, Russian, and American--are represented, as are the major voice types--soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass-baritone, and bass.

The dramatic context is not a mere summary of the plot but is a penetrating and often witty personality sketch of an operatic character in the midst of a situation. The musical context is presented with the dramatic situation in a cleverly integrated way. Suggestions about interpretation, often illustrated with musical notation and phonetic symbols, are interspersed among the author's explication of the music and the action. An overview of Martial Singher's approach--based on fifty years of experience on stage in a hundred roles and in class at four leading conservatories--is presented in his Introduction. As the reader approaches each opera discussed in this book, he or she experiences the feeling of participation in a rehearsal on stage under an urbane though demanding coach and director.

The Interpretive Guide will be of value to professional singers as a source of reference or renewed inspiration and a memory refresher, to coaches for checking and broadening personal impressions, to young singers and students for learning, to teachers who have enjoyed less than a half century of experience, and to opera broadcast listeners and telecast viewers who want to understand what goes into the sounds and sights that delight them.

 

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Brilliant... I will be singing this aria. and I now have a clearer insight as to the emotional despair and heartbreak but not only that her relief of knowing that her child is now an angel... thats for the insight

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Loved him. Loved his master classes. Love his book. Read full review

Contents

III
1
IV
3
V
6
VI
7
VIII
8
IX
10
XI
12
XIII
13
CII
179
CIII
181
CIV
183
CVI
185
CVII
187
CIX
189
CX
191
CXII
193

XIV
15
XV
17
XVI
20
XVII
23
XVIII
26
XIX
28
XX
31
XXI
34
XXII
37
XXIII
39
XXIV
42
XXVI
44
XXVII
46
XXVIII
49
XXX
51
XXXI
53
XXXII
55
XXXIII
57
XXXV
59
XXXVI
64
XXXVII
66
XXXVIII
68
XL
70
XLI
73
XLIII
75
XLIV
78
XLV
81
XLVI
82
XLVII
84
XLVIII
87
XLIX
89
LI
91
LII
93
LIV
95
LV
99
LVII
101
LVIII
104
LIX
107
LXI
108
LXIII
111
LXIV
114
LXV
117
LXVI
120
LXVII
121
LXVIII
124
LXIX
125
LXXI
128
LXXIII
130
LXXIV
133
LXXV
137
LXXVII
138
LXXVIII
140
LXXIX
142
LXXXI
145
LXXXII
146
LXXXIV
148
LXXXV
150
LXXXVI
152
LXXXVII
154
LXXXIX
155
XC
157
XCI
160
XCIII
163
XCIV
165
XCV
167
XCVII
169
XCIX
171
C
174
CI
177
CXIII
194
CXIV
196
CXVI
198
CXVII
199
CXVIII
202
CXIX
203
CXX
205
CXXII
207
CXXIII
208
CXXIV
210
CXXV
211
CXXVII
213
CXXVIII
214
CXXIX
216
CXXXI
217
CXXXII
221
CXXXIII
224
CXXXV
226
CXXXVI
229
CXXXVIII
231
CXXXIX
234
CXLI
236
CXLII
238
CXLIV
242
CXLV
244
CXLVI
246
CXLVIII
249
CL
251
CLI
254
CLIII
256
CLIV
259
CLV
261
CLVII
263
CLVIII
266
CLXI
269
CLXII
272
CLXIII
274
CLXIV
277
CLXV
279
CLXVII
282
CLXIX
284
CLXX
286
CLXXI
288
CLXXIII
291
CLXXV
294
CLXXVI
295
CLXXVII
297
CLXXVIII
301
CLXXIX
303
CLXXX
306
CLXXXI
308
CLXXXII
310
CLXXXIII
312
CLXXXIV
315
CLXXXVI
317
CLXXXVII
321
CLXXXIX
324
CXC
327
CXCI
329
CXCII
332
CXCIII
334
CXCIV
336
CXCV
338
CXCVI
341
CXCVII
343
CXCIX
346
CCI
349
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About the author (2003)

Martial Singher was director of the voice and opera department at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and served on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music, Chicago Musical College, Mannes College, and the Aspen and Marlboro Festivals. He performed with the Paris, Metropolitan, Chicago, and San Francisco Opera Companies and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.

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