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A FEW REFLECTIONS

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UPCOMING SINGERS -- ONGOING ALERTS

-- Geoffrey Riggs

 

The refrain is as old as the hills: The golden age is dead; this is the age of dross. While I do subscribe to the idea that there was once a time when, for instance, the sheer numbers of top Verdi singers were more numerous than today, I feel we are actually better off today when it comes to certain other composers who were given relatively ho-hum treatment back "when Verdi-hood was in flower". So these patterns are ultimately cyclical: what is given short shrift in one generation can be given full justice in another, and vice versa. And when it comes to today's very finest talents of all, they still compete equally, in my view, with the sheer individuality and vocal assurance and sense of dedication heard in those singers I saw in person when growing up. Today, the finest singers may indeed more often be heard in an uneven ensemble than was the case for their counterparts of a previous generation. Yet their own caliber still remains remarkably high. What does seem harder is finding that entire ensemble at a basic standard of consistency. And that's why I always remain eager to hear any upcoming singers at any venue. I have kept an eye on a few such budding talents during my few years here of working with the cyber world, and this page is a rough-and-ready attempt to maintain some sort of track of these newer performers.

A variety of sources on the web help us hear these newer singers to an extent denied us when FM radio, telecasts and commercial recordings were the only "game in town". Personal web sites, "live" webcasts that users of this site, operacast.com, routinely hear, YouTube, podcasts -- a bewildering number of outlets open to the eager inquirer are now available that feature the most promising talents of today and tomorrow.

This page will be an ongoing overview of these talents, cited in SATB order (sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones/basses), as they start being featured in various venues throughout the Web. It will be confined, though, to talents that personally strike me as unusual in some way. I will try to restrict the citations here to specific interpretations that already seem to fulfill a distinct artistic potential and reveal something individual in the piece being sung.

 

SOPRANOS

An authentic rich-toned Verdian soprano, also potent in Puccini, Donizetti, Boito and other reaches of the standard Italian repertoire, heard in Tosca's "Vissi d'arte":

Tiffany Abban

(No contact information immediately available)

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Rich, ample tones can be heard in soprano Nicole Eickmann's affecting rendition of the song "Still wie die Nacht":

Nicole Eickmann

Nicole Eickmann -- nicole.eickmann@t-online.de

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You can hear a remarkable spinto, Naya Rodriguez-Castinado, show just what an operatically trained artist with a genuine heart throb in every glistening tone can achieve in the simplest song:

Naya Rodriguez-Castinado:

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You can also hear how a budding jugendlich goes outside her original metier in a song like "Homegoing":

Stella Zigouras

Stella Zigouras -- Stellasupertalent@yahoo.com; (website) www.stellazigouras.com

 

ALTOS

Although this is an age of superb mezzos, where the competition is fierce, this artist has captured the deadly intensity of a Britten cantata with unerring poise and vocal sheen and may become the equal of any today:

Andrea McGaugh

Contact info on request.

 

TENORS

On YouTube, you can hear a remarkably warm lyric tenor occasionally reminiscent of Fritz Wunderlich -- his name is Nils Neubert -- in an excerpt from Rameau's Pygmalion. I find his "Regne, Amour" especially fluent:

Nils Neubert

Nils Neubert -- nilsneubert@gmail.com

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On YouTube, you can catch spinto tenor John Tsotsoros's patrician rendering of "Addio, fiorito asil" from Act III of Puccini's Madama Butterfly:

John Tsotsoros

John Tsotsoros -- jtsotsoros@hotmail.com

 

BARITONES / BASSES

One of the most demanding roles in the baritone repertoire, Chevreuse in Donizetti's Maria di Rohan, sounds easy when sung by this superbly gifted artist:

Scott Bearden

Scott Bearden -- scottbearden@me.com

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On YouTube, there is a remarkable young Russian bass, Chernegov-Nomerov Egor, one can hear solo-ing with a Russian Orthodox choir in Chesnokov's "Gabriel Appeared":

Chernegov-Nomerov Egor

(Would appreciate any contact information there may be for this fine bass.)

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I'm struck by baritone Jimi James's plangent and incisive singing in an English-language rendering of Guglielmo's "Donne mie" from the second act of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, heard here:

Jimi James

Jimi James -- jimin@wans.net

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On YouTube, we can hear baritone Joost Van Berge displaying a rare affinity for words and scrupulous musical phrasing in a song lifted from a Debussy song cycle, "Crois mon conseil, chere Climene" from Le promenoir de deux:

Joost Van Berge

Joost Van Berge -- joost.vanberge@gmail.com

 

Here's hoping that a number of these artists will become even more familiar to web listeners and to listeners throughout the music world in the coming years!

 

--Geoffrey Riggs

 

MARIA CALLAS (1923 - 1977) -- HER BEST RECORDINGS IN GOOD SOUND

CARMEN -- FROM COMEDY TO TRAGEDY

ENRICO CARUSO (1873 - 1921) -- A BRIEF APPRECIATION

FRANCO CORELLI (1921 - 2003) -- RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS

DON CARLOS -- RANDOM JOTTINGS

DONIZETTI AND BRINKMANSHIP

GREATEST SINGER?

THE TENOR AND RICHARD WAGNER (1813 - 1883)

MEISTERSINGER ON DISC -- THE STRONGEST ENTRIES

RECALLING ROBERT MERRILL (1917 - 2004)

PARSIFAL ON DISC -- THE STRONGEST ENTRIES

HISTORY OF OPERA IN MINIATURE

RICHARD TAUBER (1891 - 1948) -- A BRIEF APPRECIATION

VIOLETTA IN LA TRAVIATA

PARTIAL OVERVIEW OF TRISTAN ON CD

IL TROVATORE ON DISC -- THE STRONGEST ENTRIES

 

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The Assoluta Voice in Opera, 1797 - 1847 NEW BOOK

OperaBlog

BAYREUTH BROADCASTS 2003 INTERNET RADIO FOR SIMPLETONS | INTERNET RADIO FOR TECHIES

THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO OPERA RECORDINGS & VIDEOS | REVIEWS: BY OPERA TITLE BY COMPOSER THE COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO BOOKS ON OPERA | FAVORITE OPERA LINKS

SIGN OUR GUESTBOOK | VIEW GUESTBOOK
DOWNLOADS:

REAL AUDIO (Get the FREE Version - we recommend RP Version 8 - you can download it here) | WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER | WINAMP (MP3 Player) (Preferred Version 5.09 may be downloaded here) | QUICKTIME PLAYER | CHAINCAST PLAYER

 

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This page last revised 2/11/15 1:06 PM EST

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