"[…] There must always be the human voice. For if music is the one art to which all others aspire, the human voice is the instrument all others seek to imitate (that includes trombones, maracas, piccolos, kettledrums, pianos, tin cans, and electronic belches.) Therefore those composers who today treat the voice as a “mechanical” instrument are exercising as vain a contradiction as that practiced by women who now tease their real hair so that it will resemble the wigs they can’t afford."

in Ned Rorem’s last diary — Nov 18th, 1963

LISTENING TO NEW, ARTSY NOISE MUSIC

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AFTER A TOUGH-ASS REHEARSAL

2005's "The End of the Great Big American Voice," and Why It's Super Dumb

People have once again started posting this “The End of the Great Big American Voice” article (which is from *2005,* by the way,) and it continues to tick me off.  (I already wrote a response to this more than a year ago, but since it’s popping up again, my brain is once again boiling.)

It’s very true that performers with fuller voices often have a longer period of time before their voice is fully mature and appreciated by those who might hire them, and it’s very true that some university and program education aren’t enough to make a singer viable.  Good and good.  This article, however, also completely demonizes those with smaller voices; i.e., nay-saying the favoritism of ”lighter, flexible voices that can perform a wide range of material accurately, rather than the powerful, thrilling, concert-hall-filling voices on which live opera ultimately relies for its survival,” or calling lighter voices “pretty to listen to — and certainly to look at — but […] not ultimately as interesting as bigger, more mature voices.”  It also seems to imply that those with more slight voices have very little trouble with finances, education/training, longevity, and building a career, which is utterly laughable, to say the least.

Bottom line: all voices are beautiful when they do what they do best — and perhaps your penchant for remaining stubbornly, foolishly stuck on an extremely aged standard of how opera “should sound” is one of the things that is sinking our profession at the moment.

WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ME IF I THINK OPERA IS DYING

San Diego Opera management:

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All of us:

WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY DO NOTHING ALL DAY

Opera protagonist: “Man, I would do anything to be able to —”

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amandayahh:

being a music major: a summary

Quick soap box: this is not a summary of being a music major.

1. I have seen an inordinate amount of people traipse through music school by only half-assedly performing things and blowing off classes, and though they are often encouraged and redirected by many people, they don’t care enough to make a change or give a damn.  That’s the true waste of a music degree — not the loan money that they accrue, but the fact that they aren’t growing in a mature appreciation of the art form that they allegedly love enough to pursue at a university level and beyond.  It’s not just about “surviving” music school, because you don’t automatically become a professional musician once you leave — you become one while you’re there, based on what you do and how you do it.

2. It’s not just about the notes — it’s what you do with them.

(Source: candarian-demon)

You’re all sad because you’ve reached the end of HIMYM, but I’m happy, because I’m still on season 2…

… of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.