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re: I'm confused. Does anyone actually WANT to see opera stars perform musicals?
Last Edit: Chromolume 09:39 pm EDT 07/31/20
Posted by: Chromolume 09:36 pm EDT 07/31/20
In reply to: re: I'm confused. Does anyone actually WANT to see opera stars perform musicals? - PlayWiz 06:03 pm EDT 07/31/20

It's a matter of making the voice adjust to the style.

That's certainly a major component. And, much as I'm stereotyping here (also take into account that I'm a huge opera fan, so I'm not being disdainful, just realistic), many opera singers generally seem to concentrate on the music rather than the text, whereas singing the text is much more an expected part of a musical. So, especially with musicals that are heavily based in text (Sondheim, for instance), the music often gets oversung by opera singers, at the expense of that text. Yes, some singers can really get how to approach things the other way around, but many just can't.

A related symptom is the tendency to only go for rounded vowels. There was a concert A Little Night Music in Boston some years back with the Boston Pops (with Christine Ebersole and Ron Raines, who were great) that gave most of the supporting roles to young classical singers from the Tanglewood program. I remember, in "It Would Have Been Wonderful," how Ron Raines would say "if" but the young American classical singer doing Carl-Magnus could only say "eeeeeeeef." Is that English?? Similarly, when the Theatre Du Chatelet did Into The Woods, it opened with the theatre singers in the cast singing "I wish," but the more operatic voices singing "I weeeesh." It takes one right out of the performance because it sounds phony and overblown. (I was, however, very pleasantly surprised at Natalie Dessay's Fosca when the same company did Passion - hearing this wonderful coloratura get very appropriately "speak-y" with Fosca's music was a treat. I think she really understood how to go about it.)
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