Travels, Tangents, & Tribulations (with some Libations)

a chapbook of wanders and wonders

Posts from the “Opera 101” Category

The other two beasts that classically trained singers conquer

Posted on 29 July, 2011

This will be a short and sweet entry while I wait for the really heavy duty media files to finish uploading on the other entry (whew). So there are two other big components to being a classically trained singer. The first is Oratorio. Oratorio is a lot like opera–there is an orchestra; there are choruses; there are soloists. Even music-wise there are arias and recitative aplenty. However, while opera has a theatre element to it, oratorio does not. Oratorio content is generally religious and draws its inspiration from holy scripture. Thus when oratorio is performed, there is no staging; singers tend to be more upright and solemn in order to best present the work. Think you don’t know an oratorio? Think again. Handel was…

Let me “Lied” you “Oper” here.

Posted on 4 July, 2011

Voltaire, that sassy Frenchman, quipped that “the opera is nothing but a public gathering place where we assemble on certain days without precisely knowing why.” Yeah, OK, Voltaire. Whatevs. But you know, Voltaire has a point. I recall the blank stares of friends’ faces when I’d say something like, “The Schubertian line in some Goethe Lieder is suitable for both light-lyric soprano and lyric tenor—although some of it just sits continually in my passagio like in ‘Gretchen am Spinrade.’” K that probably made sense to 4% of the people I know. So. Goal of this post: a quick opera 101 so that when I throw out fancy jargon, there won’t be the wide, glassy-eyed stares of confusion directed at me. Or at least they’ll…