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Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 12 Apr 2017, 19:37
by Jimlejim
It's also about how the opera houses are built. Some are just too wide open and deep. We need to go back to voice-centric opera.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 11 Jul 2017, 16:58
by Coinerulio
shutko wrote: 05 Jan 2016, 21:23 There's a decline in great singers, that's what I can see. I would love someone to explain some fundamental differences though between both periods, why doesn't a Ponselle or a Pertile come from nowhere today?? From what I noticed with the rapid popularity increase of lieder there is a more emphasis on placing the words rather than creating a seamless legato. People are singing Verdi like they would sing Schubert.
Agreed. Anyone who can't hear this decline is deaf. Insisting that every generation says this is also misguided. Just listen to the skill and grace of singers between 1920 and 1950. They are undeniably better. There are 2nd-rate and 3rd-rate singers from those times that sing better than today's stars. :!:

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 11 Jul 2017, 18:49
by antfreire
Perhaps you were not around in the fifties, but I was and I remember the old guys of those days saying the same thing. And in the nineteen century they also repeated it. Remember that Rossini used to say that chest singing would be the end of bell canto. What they had in the old days that we don't have now is many more singers because there were many more people that went to the opera.

Re: Pre-50's versus post-50's singing

Posted: 17 Jul 2017, 16:55
by Orestes
The taste was different.

Since the 1950s the opera world has been increasingly globalized and standardized. Before 1950, the Repertoire theatre was more common, and in most places of Europe operas was performed in the mother language.

The taste, and in continuation - also style was different if a performance was given in Vienna, Paris, Budapest or Stockholm.

For instance, Richard Tauber sang anything he wanted. His schmaltzy singing with a lot of shouting was admired by the Viennese public. I detest it.

Sadly, singers sound almost the same anywhere you go. Tauber, while admired in England and Vienna wouldn't make it in Italy or in the United States. The taste was different. Today, I don't know if the taste is the same everywhere, but it is often the conductors and singers who are traveling from place to place. This has some dire consequences.

One positive aspect of post 1950s-singing: the rise of specialists. Especially in bel canto repertoire.