Baroque Opera Aria Bingo

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7 thoughts on “Baroque Opera Aria Bingo

  1. How about “the harpsichord is more interesting than the soprano”?

    In one Messiah performance I sang, the harpsichord continuo player was quite accomplished as a conductor, organist, harpsichordist, baroque scholar, etc. He had so much fun with the the continuo, that the soprano soloist had to ask the conductor if the harpsichordist could please not play so many 16th notes!

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    1. Poor soprano! I can see the argument for just being gracious/professional and letting the harpsichordist do his thing, especially if it’s high quality – but I imagine it’s not very much fun to be upstaged. The “too many notes!” comment sounds like that famous remark of whoever it was that Mozart’s music had too many notes in it.

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      1. It was awesomely good, expressive, and effective. However it did threaten to become a harpsichord concerto with soprano accompaniment!

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        1. I think the issue was not so much that she was being upstaged; more that she was having trouble finding the pulse. Poor soprano. I suppose she could have watched the conductor…

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            1. Yes the overall performance was quite wonderful, soprano and all. The glitch was only in the one aria, and they worked that out finally. The coolest part of the rehearsal period was our chorus director and the conductor — both learned and accomplished baroque performers and scholars — duking out the performance practice details. And then the conductor having the chorus demonstrate proper phrasing and articulation to A Major Professional Symphony Orchestra.

              All in all, a great series of performances, and a great choral experience (Except for the one performance where A Major Political Figure and her entourage all got up and left right after the Hallelujah Chorus — skipping all of Part III. Philistines!)

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