Repertoire Collection edited by Peter Anton Ling [B,pno]
"If only we'd had something like that ... an album for practice, a guide for professional singers as well as for opera enthusiasts."
(Franz Mazura, Patron Bass)
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The OperAria repertoire anthology was much applauded when it came on stage with three baritone volumes in 2015. The successful baritone debut was followed in 2017/18 by the appearance of the four soprano volumes, also conquering hearts in no time. Now, another performance: The curtain rises on the bass volumes, the foundation of the vocal family for heavier, darker voices, though nevertheless brilliant and full of radiance. The protagonists have such well-known names as Bartolo, Don Basilio, Colline, Don Pasquale, Falstaff, Figaro, Kecal, Osmin, Sarastro. Other heroes less often in the limelight, such as Dulcamara, Sancho Pansa, Phanuel, and Sir Morosus, can certainly also count on much applause.
"It is my aim to give students a modern, systematically structured, well-informed vocal coach that meets the demands of present-day stage practice. And, of course, a cohesive repertoire and logical presentation of audition arias for every vocal genre."
(Peter Anton Ling)
OperAria is the ideal “vocal coach” for all voice types. Edited by Peter Anton Ling, the books address all singers and are conceived above all for training and auditions. In addition, through their careful selection, they offer valuable inspiration for opera recitals.
OperAria – repertoire anthology of opera arias according to vocal criteria (range, tessitura, specifics, type of aria) with due regard to practical aspects of musical and theatrical nature (style, era, role type, national provenance)
with comments on the arias
- information on the composer, the librettist, the work, the range and of versions or casting
- a short synopsis of the contents illuminating the basic dramatic constellation in the context of the opera’s plot
- an evaluation from the singer’s point of view
with “phonetic assistant” and “text assistant”
- aria texts in the original language spoken by native speakers as an audio file (mp3)
- aria texts in German and English translations as a text file (pdf)
available for download
OperAria - An aria album! This brings back memories …
Detmold, a small residential town. After the war, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia had founded a music academy. I studied there. My friend, a piano accompanist with whom I performed as a soloist with choirs of surrounding towns to earn some money, had to haul around lots of vocal scores for just three or four arias. My first aria album, purchased in an antiquarian store, brought relief.
If only we’d had back then something similar to what I now have in front of me, magnificently presented, with an excellent quality of paper and print and particularly with all arias in their original language, with translations, synopses, etc.
OperAria - not a textbook, but an album for performance, a guide for professional singers and opera-loving amateurs alike.
I wish the publisher and all users much success with the OperAria series.
Franz Mazura, Edingen-Neckarhausen, Spring 2019
Everyone knows them as faithful companions on one’s path to vocal mastery: the traditional aria albums. Sometimes these albums were simply hastily compiled loose sheets, and their musical texts hard to read or play, and were not always authoritative. They were part of the singer’s training. They were serviceable and saved the singer a great deal of research in libraries, even if many of the arias printed in such anthologies did not suit the singer’s voice. The repertoire often presented a potpourri of vastly contrasting pieces and only took into account the distinction in vocal ranges. Other times, ambitious editors compiled into one volume parts which, from a singer’s point of view, were so distant from one another that they could not be mastered by one and the same person. Even the multifarious resources of the Internet have yet to offer any compelling alternative.
The goal of the present repertoire collection of opera arias is to give the user a modern-day, systematically structured companion or - to stay in character -, a knowledgeable, well-informed and up-to-date vocal coach who satisfies the demands of present-day theater practice. Although developed mainly for use in college- or university-level studies and theatrical auditions, the collection does not solely target students, but also singers who are already professionally active and wish to expand their specialized repertoire or prepare for a change of voice range. Moreover, a well-ordered conflation of the audition repertoire, as presented here, might also be interesting to anyone involved in vocal pedagogy and to all who wish to be knowledgeable about specific vocal profiles for casting-related matters, including those responsible for the casting of theatrical roles.
The present volume contains a representative cross-section of the lyric repertoire for bass and forms part of a comprehensive repertoire anthology of opera arias for all vocal genres. The basic subdivision into the lyric, lyric-dramatic, and dramatic categories is conceived as a means of orientation; it suggests a direction, but leaves enough room to showcase the individuality of the various types of voices and roles. This is why it is increasingly seen as a valuable supplement to the traditional “Fach” specification used by teachers and theatrical casting professionals, without seeking to compete against this traditional vocal division. Obviously, an overlapping of the categories and repertoire contained in the individual volumes cannot always be precluded on account of the very supple division that we have made here.
The selection of arias from three centuries of classical opera repertoire was made according to vocal criteria (range, tessitura, specifics, type of aria), while taking into account practical aspects of a musical and theatrical nature (style, era, role type, national provenance). Arias from Baroque operas which are commonly found in today’s repertoire but sometimes call for very different qualities and additional knowledge, were as a rule not included in this selection.
Generally, but not always, the basic character of the aria in question reflects that of the entire part. In cases where the vocal demands of the individual aria diverge considerably from those of the overall role, this will be pointed out specifically in order to banish the danger of overtaxing the voice. We have chosen well-known audition arias as well as rarities that are otherwise inaccessible, or accessible only in unsatisfactory editions, along with arias from the 20th-century’s “classical modernity” that are missing in traditional aria albums, usually for copyright reasons, but which have since found their way into the operatic repertoire. Thus next to the indispensable classical arias for stage auditions, this anthology contains a vast selection of arias for recitals, concerts and opera soirées with which students and professionals can let their vocal and interpretative talents shine.
The musical text of the arias is based on editions that are considered as standard in stage practice and offer the most authoritative texts. The piano parts were either newly written or revised on the basis of proven piano-vocal scores with the aim to achieve a transposition of the original sound that is as faithful to the score as possible, while remaining easy to play. To this end, we have had to occasionally abridge some arias (e.g. orchestral preludes or interludes) or supplement them with practicable endings (e.g. in open arias and scenes that lead immediately into another musical section without a break).
The individual comments on the arias provide information on the composer, the librettist, the work, the range and, if deemed necessary, on peculiarities such as matters of versions or casting. Also included is a short synopsis of the contents which illuminates the basic dramatic constellation in which the respective aria is embedded in the context of the opera’s plot. Furthermore, there are methodical comments from the singer’s point of view as recommendation from someone who has both stage and academic teaching experience, incorporating valuable advice from many singer colleagues. Finally, we draw attention to two study aids for the aria texts: a “phonetics assistant” with audio files (mp3) in the original language, spoken by native speakers, as well as a “text assistant” with text files (pdf) of the German and English translations. Both are available for download at www.breitkopf.com.
We wish to extend our most cordial thanks to the Bund Deutscher Gesangspädagogen and several teachers at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover for rewarding professional exchanges and collegial advice. I would also like to thank the sound engineer Dirk Austen and the speakers in the audio recording, as well as to all who helped with the translations and proofreading: Eleanor Forbes, Petra Kamlot and Isabel Sievers (English), Jutta Eckes (Italian), Sabine Wehr-Zeller (French), Lucie Harasim Berná (Czech), Diane Ackermann for her dramaturgical collaboration, Christian Beyer for the revision of the piano-vocal scores and the engraving, and Christian Rudolf Riedel for his precise and expert editing, and his tireless commitment as coordinator of all who contributed to the success of the edition. We are also grateful to the publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, without whom there would be no such collection at all.
Peter Anton Ling, Hanover, Spring 2019