An Interpretive Guide to Operatic Arias / Edition 1

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271023540
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Recommendations xv
Abscheulicher, wo eilst du hin? (soprano) 1
Casta Diva (soprano) 2
Habanera (mezzo-soprano) 6
Seguedille (mezzo-soprano) 7
Couplets of Escamillo (baritone) 8
La fleur que tu m'avais jetee (tenor) 10
Je dis que rien ne m'epouvante (soprano) 12
Air des cartes (mezzo-soprano) 13
Les Pecheurs de Perles
O Nadir, tendre ami (baritone) 15
Depuis le jour (soprano) 17
L'Enfant Prodigue
Air de Lia (soprano) 20
Ou va la jeune Indoue (soprano) 23
Don Pasquale
Bella siccome un angelo (baritone) 26
Quel guardo il cavaliere (soprano) 28
L'Elisir d'amore
Una furtiva lagrima (tenor) 31
Ain't it a pretty night (soprano) 34
Andrea Chenier
Nemico della patria (baritone) 37
La mamma morta (soprano) 39
Come un bel di di maggio (tenor) 42
Divinites du Styx (soprano) 44
Iphigenie en Tauride
O toi, qui prolongeas mes jours (soprano) 46
Unis des la plus tendre enfance (tenor) 49
Orfeo ed Euridice
Che faro senza Euridice (mezzo-soprano/baritone) 51
Avant de quitter ces lieux (baritone) 53
Le Veau d'Or (bass) 55
Salut, demeure chaste et pure (tenor) 57
Le Roi de Thule / Air des bijoux (soprano) 59
Mephisto's Serenade (bass) 64
Romeo et Juliette
Ballade de la Reine Mab (baritone) 66
Je veux vivre (Juliette's Waltz) (soprano) 68
Ah! Leve-toi, soleil (Cavatine) (tenor) 70
Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle (mezzo-soprano) 73
I Pagliacci
Il Prologo (baritone) 75
Ballatella (soprano) 78
Recitar (tenor) 81
Cavalleria Rusticana
Voi lo sapete, o mamma (soprano) 82
Le Cid
Pleurez, mes yeux (soprano) 84
Il est doux, il est bon (soprano) 87
Vision fugitive (baritone) 89
Adieu, notre petite table (soprano) 91
En fermant les yeux (tenor) 93
Cours-la-reine / Gavotte (soprano) 95
Ah fuyez, douce image (tenor) 99
O mon miroir fidele (soprano) 101
Air des lettres (soprano/mezzo-soprano) 104
Va, laisse couler mes larmes (mezzo-soprano) 107
Pourquoi me reveiller (tenor) 108
The Consul
Papers, papers (soprano) 111
The Medium
Monica's Waltz (soprano) 114
The Old Maid and the Thief
Steal me, sweet thief (soprano) 117
O paradis (tenor) 120
Cosi fan Tutte
Smanie implacabili (mezzo-soprano) 120
In uomini, in soldati (soprano) 124
Come scoglio (soprano) 125
Donne mie, la fate a tanti (baritone) 128
Don Giovanni
Madamina (bass-baritone) 130
Or sai chi l'onore (soprano) 133
Batti, batti (soprano) 137
Deh vieni alla finestra (baritone) 138
Il mio tesoro (tenor) 140
Mi tradi (soprano) 142
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail
Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden (bass) 145
O wie angstlich (tenor) 146
Durch Zartlichkeit und Schmeicheln (soprano) 148
Le Nozze di Figaro
Se vuol ballare (baritone/bass-baritone) 150
Non so piu cosa son (soprano/mezzo-soprano) 152
Voi, che sapete (soprano/mezzo-soprano) 154
Vedro mentr'io sospiro (Count's Aria) (baritone) 155
Dove sono i bei momenti (soprano) 157
Aprite un po'quegl'occhi (baritone/bass-baritone) 160
Deh vieni, non tardar (soprano) 163
Die Zauberflote
Dies Bildnis (tenor) 165
O zittre nicht (soprano) 167
Ach, ich fuhl's (soprano) 169
Boris Godunov
I have attained the power (baritone/bass-baritone) 171
Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor
Nun eilt herbei (soprano) 174
Les Contes D'Hoffmann
Les oiseaux dans la charmille (soprano) 177
Scintille, diamant (baritone) 179
O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (tenor) 181
Elle a fui, la tourterelle (soprano) 183
La Gioconda
Voce di donna (mezzo-soprano) 185
Cielo e mar (tenor) 187
La Boheme
Che gelida manina (tenor) 189
Mi chiamano Mimi (soprano) 191
Quando m'en vo (soprano) 193
Donde lieta usci (soprano) 194
Vecchia zimarra, senti (bass) 196
Gianni Schicchi
Oh! mio babbino caro (soprano) 198
Madama Butterfly
Un bel di vedremo (soprano) 199
Manon Lescaut
Donna non vidi mai (tenor) 202
In quelle trine morbide (soprano) 203
Sola, perduta, abbandonata (soprano) 205
Suor Angelica
Senza mamma (soprano) 207
Recondita armonia (tenor) 208
Vissi d'arte (soprano) 210
E lucevan le stelle (tenor) 211
Signore, ascolta (soprano) 213
Nessun dorma (tenor) 214
Tu, che di gel sei cinta (soprano) 216
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Largo al factotum (baritone) 217
Una voce poco fa (soprano) 221
La calunnia (bass-baritone) 224
Samson et Dalila
Amour, viens aider ma faiblesse (mezzo-soprano) 226
Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix (mezzo-soprano) 229
Die Fledermaus
Czardas (soprano) 231
Mein Herr Marquis (soprano) 234
O vin, dissipe la tristesse (baritone) 236
A vos jeux, mes amis (soprano) 238
Connais-tu le pays (mezzo-soprano) 242
Celeste Aida (tenor) 244
Ritorna vincitor (soprano) 246
O Patria mia (soprano) 249
Un Ballo in Maschera
Ma dall'arido stelo divulsa (soprano) 251
Morro, ma prima in grazia (soprano) 254
Eri tu che macchiavi (baritone) 256
Don Carlo
Ella giammai m'amo (bass-baritone) 259
O don fatale (mezzo-soprano) 261
Ernani, involami (soprano) 263
E sogno? o realta (baritone) 266
La Forza del Destino
Pace, pace (soprano) 269
Luisa Miller
Quando le sere (tenor) 272
Pieta, rispetto, amore (baritone) 274
Credo in un Dio crudel (baritone) 277
Salce (soprano) 279
Ave Maria (soprano) 282
Pari siamo (baritone) 284
Caro nome (soprano) 286
Parmi veder le lagrime (tenor) 288
Cortigiani (baritone) 291
La donna e mobile (tenor) 294
Simone Boccanegra
Il lacerato spirito (bass) 295
La Traviata
Ah, fors'e lui (soprano) 297
De'miei bollenti spiriti (tenor) 301
Di Provenza (baritone) 303
Il Trovatore
Tacea la notte placida / Di tale amor (soprano) 306
Stride la vampa (mezzo-soprano/contralto) 308
Condotta ell'era in ceppi (mezzo-soprano/contralto) 310
Il balen del suo sorriso (baritone) 312
D'amor sull'ali rosee (soprano) 315
Der Fliegende Hollander
Die Frist ist um (baritone) 317
Jo ho hoe (Senta's Ballad) (soprano) 321
Einsam in truben Tagen (soprano) 324
In fernem Land (tenor) 327
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
Preislied (tenor) 329
Dich, teure Halle (soprano) 332
Blick'ich umher (baritone) 334
O du mein holder Abendstern (baritone) 336
Der Freischutz
Durch die Walder, durch die Aven (tenor) 338
Schweig, schweig (bass) 341
Leise, leise, fromme Weise (soprano) 343
Und ob die Wolke (soprano) 346
Index of First Lines 349
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