Any damn fool can scream, and then they call that “music” or op-rah. Ha!
Hola a todos. Well, I first heard Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, a musical setting of the Catholic funeral mass, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall when the University of Maryland Chorus performed the piece — it was one of Maryland’s signature pieces at the time — with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) under conductor Antal Doráti. I think he was the conductor. He probably was since his favourite Chorus was the superb University of Maryland Chorus and he invited them as often as possible to perform with the NSO. In that performance, I enjoyed the choral parts, but the operatic-screaming parts bored me. The piece is too much like opera or — tell it like it is — screaming quite frankly. Although The Maryland Chorus fortunately did not sing like an Opera Chorus. Instead, they sang like the well-trained Orchestra Chorus that they were with perfect intonation as they always did.
I’ve asked before: Is Opera Music? With few exceptions, opera is all about screaming rather than singing beautifully. The Vibratobots will say that vocal soloists-screamers have to “sing over the orchestra.” Rubbish. Where did these morons train? Or perhaps they didn’t. That’s why they would speak from a position of ignorance. Fact: Any major symphony orchestra can play at a ppp level, so there’s no need to “sing over the orchestra.” Any major symphony orchestra is quite skilled at accompanying any soloists. I’ve heard the finest orchestras play extremely softly in such pieces as Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2, as in the third movement where the principal cellist of the Orchestra has the solo role along with the pianist (the concerto has four movements).
I don’t think I’ve ever heard any Opera Chorus sing with perfect intonation. Perfect intonation — the perfect blending of voices — is one of the foundations of choral excellence. Instead, all the Opera Choruses I’ve had the displeasure of hearing sounded like 150 divas trying to overpower each other, compete with each other with various rates of wobbling, annoying and fluttering vibrato, just like the soloists, or rather screamers in the opera.
And for symphonic choral performances, opera divas (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) scream from the front of the stage with their back to all other performers on stage — they can barely even see the conductor and have to look to their side to see him — per silly tradition, rather than being seated appropriately in the string section (seat the soprano in the first violins section, the tenor in the viola section, as two examples) so they can see and enjoy the performance like everyone else, rather than being parked on the edge of the stage staring at the front rows in the hall or staring at the back of the hall or at their lap for the entire performance.
The classical music genre has some damn silly, odd traditions cemented in stone. What conservative nut came up with that ludicrous placement of vocal soloists/screamers on stage?
The choral sections of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem are beautiful when sung by an immaculately trained Symphony Chorus. But the soloist, or rather screamers, I can’t take them, especially the soprano. And that is nearly always the case. What is it about soprano soloists/screamers? Not just that, in a Chorus, if any voices are going to come out of perfect intonation it’s a soprano voice. I’ve noticed that consistently. Some sopranos seem absolutely unable to control their voices. What’s that about? I have no trouble controlling my voice.
Where did these screamers train? What Conservatory or School of Music or private instructor is ripping people off and teaching them to scream rather than to sing beautifully?
Recently, I scanned through a performance of the Verdi, and as expected, many of the classical music armchair critics were genuflecting to and absolutely gushing over the soprano screamer and how they were “amazed” and found it “unbelievable” at how her voice overpowered both Orchestra and Chorus at one point in the score. What’s unbelievable about some female rearing back — as this one did — and let out a High C where she screamed “at the top of her lungs” above the full Orchestra and Chorus? I think most females could do that, even close to a High C in screaming mode. Think an emergency vehicle going by and the highest pitch on that wailing at you. How is that pleasurable? It’s not meant to be pleasurable. How is that music? It’s a warning sound. She looked like she was really working it too. She did not make her singing, or rather screaming, look effortless. She reminded me of some screamers I’ve seen who get red in the face in the midst of their screaming.
But being able to rear back and scream on a High C and overpower all other musicians on stage is something to be admired, is it? I. Don’t. Think. So. I was never taught that at the Conservatory where I trained. Where did these idiot commenters train? It’s interesting how brainwashing works. People keep being told — often by the no-nothing classical music armchair critics in comment sections — that it’s good when a soprano screamer rears back and screams on a High C with wobbling vibrato. She was mic’d but didn’t need a mic — they likely heard her several blocks away and wondered who was in pain! — because her obnoxious voice cut through both Orchestra and Chorus, and the Chorus was by my guess probably a 300-voice Chorus. They were superbly trained. Yes, she overpowered all of them too. That’s music? That’s art? I. Don’t. Think. So. No, that’s technically called tacky screaming.
Any damn fool can scream and call it “opera” or “I have a trained voice.” Yeah, for screaming. Nevertheless, these idiot commenters ate it up. They fell for her act.
Screaming is not music. Screaming is not art.
Unfortunately, these days in the Century of Insanity, many (most?) people can’t tell the different between screaming and singing beautifully. That’s particularly true with the mostly white opera audience. They’ll sit through anything if it’s called “opera.” Although the opera audience is especially a class-ist audience for the “well-heeled,” Dahling, so many people go to opera as a shallow status symbol. It’s about being pretentious and giving the impression of wealth and “high society” Dahling. I have no patience for such shallow and superficial people. Basura. And some of the same people don’t know the difference between opera and a symphonic choral work.
Why is opera = screaming ?
You can hear vocal soloists singing beautifully in this video from Collegium 1704 Orchestra and Chorus from the Czech Republic. It’s not opera, but does it matter? Why can’t opera be this beautiful and beautifully sung?
Below (the Zelenka) is beautiful music. The soloists are not screamers. They are genuine soloist and chorister artists. They all sing beautiful. No one is screaming or trying to overpower anyone else. Why can’t opera sound like this where the genuine soloists blend in with the music rather than stick out as divas demanding attention?
In this performance below, the soloists contribute to the music rather than destroy it with their harsh, screaming, damn annoying voices with wobbling vibrato where you have to guess what pitch they’re singing (or rather screaming) as they do in opera or in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem. Chau.—el bario rosa