Top 5 tenors today

Discussion of contemporary singers: Jonas Kaufmann, Juan Diego Flórez, Anna Netrebko, etc.
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Jimlejim
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Top 5 tenors today

Postby Jimlejim » 31 Jan 2016, 08:09

Name your top 5 tenors who are singing today and are under 50.
Tenor freak. :D

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Pantenor
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby Pantenor » 31 Jan 2016, 08:22

Florez, Calleja, Kaufmann, Vargas and Fabiano.

TifosoBonisolli
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby TifosoBonisolli » 31 Jan 2016, 13:52

Vargas is 55... and have you ever heard him in the last, say, 10 years? His voice is a wreck, and by now, he's performing only most irregularly since he's forced to cancel most every performance he's scheduled for.
Flórez would be fine if he had not gone totally crazy (singing roles like Arnold, Werther...), and if he had limited his career to the radio - his is very much a Joseph-Schmidt-type voice, just not adequate for singing in a theater (without a microphone, that is). For instance, I heard him recently (*with* microphone) as Duca di Mantova, and it was plain laughable, a Duca's caricature. Kaufmann is a somewhat similar case: had he stayed with the lyrical repertoire that he was singing early in his career, he could still be a fine tenor, but for the roles that he is now singing, his voice is way too small. Even with the microphone that he is regularly resorting to, he has by now managed to ruin that voice (did you hear last summer's Cavalleria from Salzburg? a disaster).

Jimlejim's question is, I'm afraid, almost impossible to answer... a bit like "which of these totally blind people has the sharpest eye in your opinion?". Opera vivrà, I concur, ma attualmente non vive... tentatively answering the question nonetheless, I'd say:
- Aleksandrs Antonenko (certainly not a refined singer, but he has at least a real voice, a real dramatic voice)
- Vittorio Grigolo (other than what he seems like in recordings, he, too, has a real voice, and a glorious voice to boot; his technique is of course characterized by too many faults, but at least he's a convincing and at times thrilling performer)
- Maxim Mironov (if he sings a suitable repertoire and in a really small theater, otherwise he can be outright awful)
- Bogdan Volkov (with a proviso: I heard him only once, but he was very promising)
- Vladimir Dmytruk (only as a comprimario - so not what you'll find by him on Youtube -, but he is really interesting in that repertoire)

a57se
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby a57se » 02 Feb 2016, 15:35

Wow, you didn't bash Calleja and Fabioano!

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Jimlejim
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby Jimlejim » 02 Feb 2016, 18:24

a57se wrote:Wow, you didn't bash Calleja and Fabioano!
This surprised me too. :D
Tenor freak. :D

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Pantenor
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby Pantenor » 02 Feb 2016, 18:30

TifosoBonisolli wrote: Jimlejim's question is, I'm afraid, almost impossible to answer... a bit like "which of these totally blind people has the sharpest eye in your opinion?". Opera vivrà, I concur, ma attualmente non vive... tentatively answering the question nonetheless, I'd say:
- Aleksandrs Antonenko (certainly not a refined singer, but he has at least a real voice, a real dramatic voice)
- Vittorio Grigolo (other than what he seems like in recordings, he, too, has a real voice, and a glorious voice to boot; his technique is of course characterized by too many faults, but at least he's a convincing and at times thrilling performer)
- Maxim Mironov (if he sings a suitable repertoire and in a really small theater, otherwise he can be outright awful)
- Bogdan Volkov (with a proviso: I heard him only once, but he was very promising)
- Vladimir Dmytruk (only as a comprimario - so not what you'll find by him on Youtube -, but he is really interesting in that repertoire)
Weird list. Vittorio Grigolo is an abomination of seizure dynamics. I heard Vargas a few years ago. His voice is not a wreck. What on earth are you talking about?

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LaGioconda
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby LaGioconda » 02 Feb 2016, 18:35

Pantenor wrote:
TifosoBonisolli wrote: Jimlejim's question is, I'm afraid, almost impossible to answer... a bit like "which of these totally blind people has the sharpest eye in your opinion?". Opera vivrà, I concur, ma attualmente non vive... tentatively answering the question nonetheless, I'd say:
- Aleksandrs Antonenko (certainly not a refined singer, but he has at least a real voice, a real dramatic voice)
- Vittorio Grigolo (other than what he seems like in recordings, he, too, has a real voice, and a glorious voice to boot; his technique is of course characterized by too many faults, but at least he's a convincing and at times thrilling performer)
- Maxim Mironov (if he sings a suitable repertoire and in a really small theater, otherwise he can be outright awful)
- Bogdan Volkov (with a proviso: I heard him only once, but he was very promising)
- Vladimir Dmytruk (only as a comprimario - so not what you'll find by him on Youtube -, but he is really interesting in that repertoire)
Weird list. Vittorio Grigolo is an abomination of seizure dynamics. I heard Vargas a few years ago. His voice is not a wreck. What on earth are you talking about?
OMG Grigolo - only Massimo Giordano is worse............

excuse me - HOW can this be published? Is this from his recital?




TifosoBonisolli
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby TifosoBonisolli » 03 Feb 2016, 18:02

a57se wrote:Wow, you didn't bash Calleja and Fabioano!
No, why should I? Actually, I like Calleja to a certain extent, and had he not already been on Pantenor's list, I'd probably have included him on mine (but it's boring somehow if all of us nominate the same singers, isn't it?). I almost fully concur with LaGioconda's (and Pantenor's) recent assessment of Calleja on another thread: overall beautiful singing (though, and here I don't concur, not "too clear" - he does actually squeeze *at times*, he chews the notes *at times*, and his upper range is *not always* easy), but "schoolboyish" interpretations, that's really hitting the nail on the head. Another (and perhaps my main) problem with Calleja is that he is very unsteady and seems to continually alter the placement of his voice. But if he was always as good as the last time I saw him (in Madama Butterfly, quite surprisingly!), he'd be the clear no. 1 on my list. On my list of contemporary young tenors, of course, which cannot by definition be a list of really great singers...
And I'm very grateful for the nomination of Fabiano - I had never heard of him, and I like a lot what I found on Youtube by him (always for contemporary standards, of course).
Pantenor wrote: Weird list.
Definitely, yes. And a sad list, above all. But what do you expect from a "best vision among blind people" list? One might even say this is a task like making a list of the "best 15th-century painters still active today" - in fact, the whole list ought to be blank.
Pantenor wrote: Vittorio Grigolo is an abomination of seizure dynamics.
LaGioconda wrote: OMG Grigolo - only Massimo Giordano is worse............
I'm the last one to defend Grigolo's vocal technique. You're absolutely right about seizure dynamics, and I'll add more faults: an unpleasant throaty sound regularly mars his basically beautiful timbre (due to constant oversinging), and he has a caprino. And I absolutely concur on Massimo Giordano, who is perhaps the worst lead tenor ever heard on this planet. (Though comparing Grigolo to Giordano is a bit unfair. But never mind - I love to be unfair myself.) I hated every note that I had heard on TV and record by Grigolo, he sounded like a pop crooner to my ears - before I heard him live for the first time, which changed my impression considerably. With no intention of whitewashing his countless technical faults, his voice is seriously good, large, ringing (and I had always imagined, from TV and records, that he had absolutely no voice at all!), and he is one of the very last singers who know how to heat up an audience - he is definitely not boring, and he has the gift of relating to the audience that is indispensable for a great performer. Note: I didn't say this alone makes a great performer, and I certainly didn't say that Grigolo is a great performer, his singing is WAY too flawed for that. But it's exactly this ingredient - being able to make a theater boil - that most every other contemporary opera singer is sorely lacking. So Grigolo is, in a way, Calleja'a antipode, and if one of them is on the list, the other one should perhaps be there, too. (The two combined would make a very decent tenor indeed.)
Pantenor wrote:I heard Vargas a few years ago. His voice is not a wreck. What on earth are you talking about?
Oh yes, I heard Vargas a few years ago, as well, and he was really very good. But wait... this was in 1993. So what on earth am I talking about? Perhaps about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqavxzaT7Nk (a propos of caprino, and note the "brilliant" high C at 3:40), or about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2pzgATDX2E (the "pianos" at 2:23 and notably at 4:36, the pushed notes at 3:40, 4:04 and 4:15), and about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHrDScLe6Jg (note that I'm fair with Vargas, I've struggled through that entire terrible concert before posting - I particularly "like" the shouting and squeezing in Pourquoi me réveiller, starting at 19:18, and Ne c'est plus ma main, starting at 22:23 - don't miss the absolutely wonderful, healthy acuto at 24:42), and last not least, about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO3dk6PLdM - now don't say "but that's not a suitable repertoire for his voice", he sang that at the Met, and I didn't notice any guy pointing a machine gun at him and forcing him to sing this. If a tenor who is simply leaving out the first high C in the "pira" (and barely hits the final one) is among any "best 5", then opera is dead, dead, dead!! For comparison, another contemporary tenor singing the "pira" - the year after Vargas' attempt in Mexico: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1TlAVIHsAI - Angelo Loforese was 93 then (no no, that's no mistake: 93 years!), and still puts Vargas to shame.
So should Angelo Loforese be on the list of the world's best present-day tenors? Well, yes, at least on the list of the "best tenors over 90".

Alvari
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby Alvari » 05 Feb 2016, 10:31

Here's some thoughts, but not exactly a top 5. Not really sure about some of their ages though.

On the Wagnerian front, Andreas Schager and Stephen Gould are making respectable careers as heldentenors. Schager seems to have that bright steely vocal quality sorely lacking in many current Wagnerians, a reletively easy top and slim youthful appearence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBJWco4LZCE
Gould has a more baritonal, somewhat grainy timbre, but apparently a strong top and he can survive singing Tristan live. No small feat.
I haven't heard either of them live, though, but I've read many good reports.

Florez and Brownlee are certainly fine light-Rossini tenors. Much less known is the Finnish Tuomas Katajala, who I like very much. A easy, very well-carrying voice (I've heard him live many times), attractive timbre, precise coloratura and a strong top. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j__oTdqZ3zc

Calleja (whom I've also heard live) sings Donizetti and light Verdi well, but I have to agree with "schoolboyishness" mentioned earlier. Michael Fabiano I've also liked when I've heard him on Youtube.

Geoff
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Re: Top 5 tenors today

Postby Geoff » 18 Feb 2016, 23:28

Aw, God !! I don't know. I suppose it depends on whether you like Lyric, Dramatic, Heroic or goodness know what. You could ask me this question today or next week and I would probably change my mind. Anyway here goes: How about Jean Francois Borras ? He's now 40 years old and has steadily been progressing through the rankings where he's now firmly established at the top end of lyric tenors. He will certainly do for me, but then again, what do I know ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFxmRJxq9rU
What else can I say ? Only that in my personal view, he could do with a haircut and a shave!!!!
what is life without a bit of humour ?
Regards,
Geoff.


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