In Bravura, singers demonstrate their craft. Rolando Villazon describes how Richard Wagner fought with his work. Alexander Geller rehearses for the semifinals of an annual international singing competition in Karlsruhe.
Elio Battaglia teaches singing at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Turin. Many singers sing when they should speak the words. See footage of Franco Zeffirelli's film "La Traviata."
Trends in opera include a more lyrical approach in "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg" and "Lohengrin." Battaglia coaches Maria Mastino on the role of Lady Macbeth; see footage of her performance with Teatro Regio di Parma.
Loud instrumentation and audience applause make singing Verdi arias difficult. Singing competitions help find new performers. Wagner wants curvature and clarity in tone and smooth phrasing.
Voices became more trained as musical instrumentation developed. Singers performed Gioachino Rossini, Pietro Mascagni, Verdi, and Giacomo Puccini; they did not specialize in specific repertoires. Francesco Tamagno's voice was different than contemporary audiences would expect.
During performances, audience members came and went, and talked while watching. Sets were painted and not built. Wagner designed impossible tasks for stage directions and action.
Credits: The Chant
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Most opera singers tend to commit early to a particular style. This program asks whether there is anything like a "Verdi" or "Wagner" voice. It examines how the music of these two opera giants was interpreted at the time, and why it is so difficult today to bring Wagner to the stage in an appropriate setting. Hans Neuenfels, Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz, Christian Thielemann, Rolando Villazón and Dame Gwyneth Jones are the stars who have answers to these questions. There are also excerpts from legendary productions from La Traviata to Siegfried.
Length: 27 minutes
Copyright date: ©2012
Prices include public performance rights.
Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.
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