Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The "Sitz" according to Dr. von Lyric

"I love to watch opera singers at a sitzprobe - this is a German term ( a "sitting rehearsal" )- used for a run through of the opera with the orchestra and singers. There is no stage movement - or any sets or costumes or lighting. (The same basic set up occurs at a recording session.) The singers usually sit (or stand) in a row at the front of the stage. They almost always have a music stand with the score although by that time in the rehearsal (or recording) process they certainly know the music. They are dressed as they choose - often in very comfortable casual outfits (like athletes exercising); though often oddly formal for such a basically unpublic occasion, (as if loathe to yield any hard won diva status). They seem to carry the music into their bodies - gesturing, weaving back and forth, almost dancing, revealing the essence of the musical line, and often the inner voice of their character - in a way they (correctly) never would in the context of a regular stage performance. It seems very personal, very private and often very revelatory. They are basically singing out front - and how or if or when they choose to look (or react) at each other is fascinating. The banality of the physical world around them and the workaday tools of their trade that aid them (those flimsy music stands in the Gotterdammerung excerpt seem to be barely able to standup under the passion of the singers) only serves to sharply illuminate and focus the uniqueness and complexity of the art of singing and performance in a context we don't often see." - Dr. von Lyric 

Gotterdammerung "Vengence Trio"

with Birgit Nilsson, Dietrich Fischer-Diskau and Gottlieb Frick conducted by Georg Solti

Madama Butterfly - Vogliatemi bene - Jonas Kaufmann + Angela Gheorghiu

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