LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  February 2006

CLASSICAL February 2006

Subject:

Ecclesiastic Contralti?

From:

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Feb 2006 19:03:27 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (51 lines)

Was Puccini trying to liberate women within the Church?  That is the
issue that has arisen between the West Bay Opera's excellent chorus
master and myself, concerning the WBO's current production of "Manon
Lescaut."

In yesterday's http://www.sfcv.org/arts_revs/westbayopera_2_21_06.php,
I attributed the appearance of several women in cassock, in a religious
procession, to the lack of male chorus members.  No, I was advised after
the review appeared, women were employed to comply with Puccini's voice
requirements.

I don't remember women appearing a priests, abbots, abbes, or archimandrites
in Puccini's operas, but perhaps I had a sheltered life.  What is the
experience out there, in the larger world?  Please advise.

To give Ms. Bogart her due, I am quoting in full her letter to SFCV.org:

   In Mr. Gereben's recent review of West Bay Opera's production
   of "Manon Lescaut" he says
   
       "How far Ostwald had to go in marshalling nonexistent
       resources was clearly demonstrated by the use of women as
       priests and subteens as prostitutes in the deportation scene."
   
   The use of women as part of the second act chorus had to do with
   realizing Puccini's intent and nothing else.
   
   The score says the chorus of gentlemen and abbes (signori ed
   abati) is to be sung by contraltos, tenors and basses, four on
   a part, with no information as to correspondence between vocal
   part and character.  In our production all the notes are sung
   at the pitches Puccini asked for.  In addition to the designation
   "contralti" there is internal evidence that this part is not
   intended for typical male adult chorus voices: there are plenty
   of notes above tenor high C (C5) in the top part, the highest
   being G5.
   
   The part could be sung by countertenors, but asking for four in
   a chorus part would be most unusual; there is no tradition of
   such a thing in operas of the time.  Boy altos could also manage
   the tessitura, but would not be heard in the ensemble.  Besides,
   when Puccini wanted children's voices he typically (Tosca, La
   boheme, Turandot) asked for them by labeling the part "ragazzi".
   
   best regards,
   Joanne Bogart, Chorus Manager
   West Bay Opera

Janos Gereben/SF
www.sfcv.org
[log in to unmask]

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager