Wednesday, April 23, 2008


There was a time in history that, if the audience demanded it, a diva or divo would sing a stellar aria again, even if it were in the middle of an opera. In fact there are cases where they would repeat the piece three or possibly four times if desired.

This has fallen out of favor in most opera houses as they have been trying to be more conscientious about performance practice, and try to give an upper hand to stage craft and telling a story. Many opera houses have gone so far as to ban the practice, and it has gotten to the point that the audience would not even think to demand/expect an encore. In fact I rarely even hear "encore!" or "bis!" yelled after an aria. Some times a "bravo!" or "brava!" but never the former two.

However it is still done! Monday at the Met it was in fact planned for (which is necessary if you're going to pull it off). Again Juan Diego Florez has taken opera stardom and stepped it up to where it once was! I love it! (I'm also still bummed about not seeing him this year at the Lyric, so I can see what the fuss is about)

I'm excited to see a small return to the feeling that opera should be thrilling, because it should be! Scholarship is great, and makes us better musicians, and creates better performances, and respect of the work of a whole is noble. But we mustn't get too stuffy!

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