Voice of American Opera. Opera Quarterly, 23 Article Critique

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¶ … Voice of American Opera." Opera Quarterly, 23 (1): 81-95.

First published online: July 2, 2008. doi: 10.1093/oq/kbn005

According to Anne Midgett's essay "The Voice of American Opera," American opera is losing ground after decades of gaining respect and popularity. For many years, American operatic training was renowned throughout the world, after overcoming initial European reservations about the nation's ability to produce high-quality singers. However, American vocal training has devolved, rather than evolved and American singers have lost their famed versatility and power. European schooling has grown more competitive; American training less so, particularly given the rise of opera companies that have fueled the growth of vocal departments in conservatories. The demand for 'recordable' voices have also produced a less expansive and powerful voice.

Even what constitutes American opera itself -- the setting, director, composer, or source -- is vague. Opera houses seen reluctant to advertise themselves as such, fearing that they might be tainted with charges of elitism, and now often produce musical theater as well as the classical opera repertoire. American composers may indeed be American, but tend to use relatively conservative artistic and musical techniques, and evoke an earlier sensibility rather than challenge it.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Article Critique on Voice of American Opera. Opera Quarterly, 23 Assignment

This may also be a symptom of the need to create opera that is well-suited to the recorded medium. Many listeners are unwilling to commit to hearing a full opera. More domestic and harmonious operatic music, the kind that is listened to as a distraction, rather than as a source of emotional involvement, has… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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