Javier Camarena

Discussion of contemporary singers: Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flórez, Anna Netrebko, etc.
Jim
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Mar 2016, 13:58

Javier Camarena

Postby Jim » 16 Apr 2016, 10:38

When looking at underrated singers I think it is worth looking at Javier Camarena. His tessitura is similar to Juan Diego Florez with a more lyrical sound. He is about three years younger but does not look it. His repertoire significantly overlaps that of Snr Florez. Here are two examples of his singing from YouTube. One good and one average. How do you feel he compares to Snr Florez and others, such as Alfredo Kraus, Ugo Benelli, Colin Lee, Luis Alva, in the repertoire of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini?


and


Much like Kraus this is a voice that can handle more full lyric roles such as Duke of Mantua.

Jim

Geoff
Posts: 153
Joined: 07 Jan 2016, 17:17

Re: Javier Camarena

Postby Geoff » 16 Apr 2016, 23:42

Well Javier, how do I think he compares ? (remember - I'm no voice professor - I just know what I like). I did not know of him which does not say much for me. I think he compares very well. In fact, he has nothing at all to fear from the illustrious names that you mention. He very clearly has the vocal equipment, he has confidence in himself and he is very well trained. He may not be as photogenic as Senor Florez but that should not count. Here is an important voice - I hope that he goes on to carve out an impressive career for himself but the opera world is a cut-throat business. From now on; I'm a fan!

Regards,
Geoff

TifosoBonisolli
Posts: 69
Joined: 05 Jan 2016, 23:47

Re: Javier Camarena

Postby TifosoBonisolli » 17 Apr 2016, 20:40

Since I've heard Camarena, Flórez and Kraus on stage, it's easy enough to compare them. Camarena has the best natural voice by far of the three, much rounder and warmer and above all, much larger than the two others. He is also the only one among them who has a sense of humour and can be really funny as Conte Almaviva. But he's also by far the most provincial of those three singers; both vocally and musically, he is prone to sloppy singing, so I don't suppose his career will go much farther than it already did (it's by no means a bad career, mind you). With Flórez in particular, he has in fact only two things in common: the repertory, and the clumsy stage acting. In every other respect, they're very different: Camarena has a real voice, while Flórez would, in opera's better ages, only have had a chance as a radio tenor (as long as no microphones were used on stage, he would have found hardly any opera theater that was tiny enough for his voice). Camarena has a glorious top, while Flórez has already ruined his by constantly singing in too large venues (even with a microphone, his voice can hardly cope with large theaters), and too heavy roles, and of course by increasingly imitating Kraus, which didn't prove advantageous for his voice. Camarena is more musical than Flórez as far as bringing the music to life (as opposed to Flórez's mostly static and sterile interpretations). But Flórez is much more of a perfectionist, much preciser (thinking of coloratura for instance) and much more constant (the quality of Camarena's interpretations varies widely, even during one and the same performance). Kraus, finally, had way more dramatic power than the two others combined (although his voice was clearly smaller than Camarena's, but extremely well-focused and penetrating) and displayed, in the belcanto repertory, a mastery of style that the two others cannot even dream of. But he also produced an exceedingly unpleasant, sharp sound that mars particularly his (however splendidly secure) top notes to the extent of making them really hard to listen to; and, since you mentioned Duca di Mantova, his (few) Verdi interpretations were so totally amiss that they seemed, on the level of musical style, much like Michael Jackson singing Verdi. Or in fact, much like Juan Diego Flórez singing Verdi...

Jim
Posts: 63
Joined: 17 Mar 2016, 13:58

Re: Javier Camarena

Postby Jim » 08 May 2016, 18:05

It has taken me a while to get back to this, my apologies. I don't really understand the term 'a real voice'. Snr Camerena has a voice timbre that conforms more to the modern aesthetic. He has a wonderful top. The only one of the three you mention, that I have heard live is Snr. Florez.

If voice size is judged mainly by resonance then I agree his voice is likely bigger than the other two. However, neither of the others struggle(d) to be heard, in any size theatre in suitable roles (casts, however, have to be matched vocally, in the bigger theatres, which managements often say they do, but only seem to me to pay lip service to the concept). Their vocal projection is outstanding and I will also agree that Alferdo Kraus' voice could be tiring with the relentlessly forward sound.

His florid singing is adequate at best, possibly because the extra 'weight' in the voice means it is more difficult. Not really an excuse though as demonstrated by Joan Sutherland.

By the way acting to me is very much secondary to the voice. Pavarotti, when he ballooned, and Mme Caballe would not get a look in today.

I agree with Geoff that he has an important voice but florid singing is probably not his real strength.

I do not agree that Snr. Florez has ruined his voice. It has changed slightly in the last three years or so but he seems to have handled the change very well. He is, though, running a serious risk with his performances in the Met. He was very quick to abandon the Rigoletto experiment and I hope he will be just as intelligent about his repertoire in large houses.

Jim


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests