40 singers under 40

Discussion of contemporary singers: Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flórez, Anna Netrebko, etc.
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40 singers under 40

Postby Jimlejim » 18 Mar 2016, 14:53

Plotkin lists 40 male and 40 female singers under 40 who are promising.

"Operagoers often lament to me, way too often, that there are no good singers anymore. This certainly has not been my experience. Part of why some people believe this is because opera does not get the wide media coverage it used to have. We don’t read or hear about most young singers. Very few of them get to record an album, as happened in the past, that served as a calling card. Unless opera lovers go to lots of performances, they might not come across many of the fine young singers who are in our midst."

Link: http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/forty-more ... -part-one/

"In my previous article, I described 15 excellent male singers under the age of 40 who are definitely worth hearing. Now I am pleased to present 25 women who are among those making the future bright for opera. You have heard of some of them and perhaps have had the pleasure of seeing them perform. I suspect that many others are new to you.

My requirements in making these selections were two: the singers must be under age 40, and I must have heard them sing. This is not a list of the best, but simply a gathering of younger, talented artists who deserve recognition."

Link: http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/forty-more ... =sharedUrl
Tenor freak. :D

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Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 23:47

Re: 40 singers under 40

Postby TifosoBonisolli » 18 Mar 2016, 20:48

Thank you for posting this, Jim - very interesting, most of those singers have been unknown to me.
Of the female singers, I've only read the names so far: from live experiences, I know Bonitatibus, who is definitely not a "great" young singer (her voice is exiguous on the edge of being inaudible, her technique a bit shaky); Machaidze of course, whom to include in that list is pathetic (her voice is only a shadow of what it was before giving birth to her children, it's now sharp, shrill, often the opposite of effortless), Morley (who is ok, but way too average for calling her "great"), Peretyatko, who is one of those contemporary marketing geniuses, but just so-so as a singer; and Yoncheva, who is very good to excellent and may once actually become great.

But I've already worked my way through all 15 male singers, listening to each of them; the only one that I had heard on stage is Breslik, who - like Machaidze, but without giving birth to anybody as far as I know - is already well past his short prime (actually, I'd have included him in such a list until 2012, but no longer). In general, if I'm supposed to think that these are "great" singers, I'm afraid I fail to fulfill the expectations.
Of the tenors, Nikhil Navkal has an exceptionally beautiful voice to my ears, but a caprino. Brenna would, in earlier ages, have sung Mime not Siegfried! Angelini is positively horrible, without a single laudable quality. And Russell Thomas is a rude, rough Pollione and certainly not a "superb" one, my goodness! Whom else may Plotkin have heard as Pollione??
Of the two countertenors, Davies sounds so laboured and unnatural that it's hard to endure; Dumaux is more of the nagging type, but certainly way better.
The basso, Howard, is perhaps even worse than Angelini, a wobbly, totally ill-placed voice; quite good deep range, but due to his lack of technique just hopeless.
Of the baritones, Di Bianco seems to have a certain potential, but a lot of work to do, particularly on the upper range. Pershall seems like the best of the whole lot of 15; he has both voice and personality, and his technique is already reliable, although he's producing a somewhat dry, a bit throaty sound that might result in a heavy wobble in later years - but he has still plenty of time to work on that... Onichi and Garrett have bad wobbles already now, they're both very hard on the ears. LaBrie will, if anything, be a lieder singer; neither his voice nor his technique seem much suited to opera. Lavrov is doing some things quite nicely, but his range is short (the low notes, above all, are inaudible), and he already has a (slight) wobble. Mayes is simply a nightmare; what terrible shouting, completely free from any musicality or vocal technique!

But above all... what exactly wanted Plotkin to prove? That there is no lack, currently, of excellent young singers? Hah! What if such a list (remarkable male singers under 40) would have been made in, say, 1925? Singers, then, who were 25 to 40 years at the time (and really, I'm listing only the most famous ones, and I'm even prejudiced as always and leave out some singers who I dislike although they were roughly a million times better than Michael Mayes - people like Richard Tauber, Giovanni Martinelli, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Aleksandr Pirogov or Friedrich Schorr, among others). So here goes the list, in order of their dates of birth between 1885 and 1900: Francesco Merli, Wilhelm Rode, Michael Bohnen, Hipólito Lázaro, Heinrich Schlusnus, Tito Schipa, Beniamino Gigli, Lauritz Melchior, Tino Pattiera, Aleksandr Kipnis, Dino Borgioli, Antonio Cortis, John Charles Thomas, André Baugé, Renato Zanelli, Rudolf Bockelmann, Ezio Pinza, Benvenuto Franci, Tudor Davies, Miguel Villabella, Tancredi Pasero, Arthur Endrèze, Miguel Fleta, André Pernet, Richard Bonelli, Giovanni Inghilleri, Heinrich Rehkemper, Armand Tokatyan, Ludwig Hofmann, Hans Reinmar, Mark Reizen, Kálmán (Koloman von) Pataky, Lawrence Tibbett, Georg Hann, Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, Paul Schöffler, Helge Rosvaenge, Georges Thill, Carlo Tagliabue, Paul Robeson, Franz Völker, Ivan Kozlovskij, Salvatore Baccaloni, Richard Crooks, Wilhelm Strienz, Ivan Zhadan (Jadan), Karl Schmitt-Walter.
Any questions?

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