Thursday, 13 February 2014

Are we in a Golden Age for male voice?

Are we in a Golden Age for male voice?  There are those who believe only long-dead singers are worth listening to. But that's moronic. Nothing in this world remains the same: we don't speak as people did 100 years ago, so we can't sing the same way. This isn't a value judgement, it's simple reality. Just as repertoire has broadened, so has the range of voice types. Just look at the nominees in the 2014 Opera Awards (an unfortunately generic term).

Stéphane Degout
 Bryan Hymel
 Peter Mattei
 Luca Pisaroni
Stuart Skelton
 Michael Volle
 Ludovic Tézier

How can you really compare? Each is excellent in his own way.  How can we compare baritones and tenors?   Or those who specialize in different genres?  Whoever wins will deserve all the praise he gets - but so will others, and some who aren't on this particular list, like Piotr Beczala (who saved the Met's Rusalka from being a dead loss), Schrott, Terfel and Jonas Kaufmann.. Singers need awards because they are good publicity. so good wishes to all of them.

 But most Awards serve the interest of those promoting them, not primarily the singers and certainly not the state of the art. So take this competition for what it is and instead celebrate the wonderful choice of singers we have with us today.

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