Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPerforming Arts · 1 decade ago

HELP, Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...?

Which is the MOST DIFFICULT ARIA ORATORIO for a soprano? I would appreciate any suggestion.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi Mortisia. I came across this site on the internet and thought that you might find what you were looking for in here somewhere... lol. i dont know much about soprano's and opera etc... hopefully this'll help.

    Regards, Hendrik Snyman.


    Queen Elisabeth Competition

    Hi! Here is the report of the Queen Elisabeth Competition I promised.

    For 3 evenings I was glued to the television, watching all those marvellous

    singers. I have learned a lot just by watching them!

    In contrast with the previous rounds where the jury chose the pieces the

    candidates had to sing, the program of the final was the free choice of each

    singer. They could decide in which part of the vocal music - Opera, Lied or

    Oratorio - they feel most at ease. Each singer had to compose a program of

    about 25 minutes chosen from a very extensive list (you can find it on the

    website of the competition: very interesting to expand your own

    repertoire!). The only restrictions were: at least 1 opera-aria and 1

    oratorio-aria. The music had to be written after 1750 because it had to be

    executed with the modern orchestra. (For those who didn't knew: in the

    semi-finals the candidates had to perform a Baroque program with a

    specialized orchestra on the pitch 415.)

    This rule (the own choice of the program) was very new this year. In the

    previous editions (the competition is once on 4 years for voice) the accent

    lay on the opera-singing and mostly the large (operatic)voices came out in

    the final result. This year I asked myself again: what is the jury looking

    for? The best all-round singer? The most promising or special, magnificent

    voice ? The most interesting interpreter or personality? Well, at the end of

    this report, you can discover the verdict!

    Yet one remark before telling the story of the three final-evenings: quite

    special in the judgement procedure is that every member of the jury

    (composed of 16 really important names in the singing world such as Joan

    Sutherland, Grace Bumbry, Nancy Argenta, Tom Krause and José van Dam) has to

    give their own points and that there is no way of deliberating or debate

    about the outcome of the votes. So surprises are likely to arise!

    The first evening started with the 25-year-old Canadian soprano Karen

    Wierzba. She chose a varied program of Mozart (Et incarnatus est), Strauss

    (Lied: Amor), Verdi (Falstaff: Nanetta) and Poulenc (Les mamelles de

    Tyrésias: Thérèse). Wierzba has a (not so special) light coloratura-voice,

    which she uses with a fine personality and intelligence. Especially in the

    Poulenc she knew how to captivate the public.

    The next singer was the soprano Marina Poplavskaya (22, Russia). She chose

    next to Haydn (die Jahreszeiten) 3 opera-arias: Bellini (Giulietta: Oh

    quante volte), Gounod (Faust: Marguérite) and Glinka (Ludmila). There had

    been a lot of doubts about the presence of Poplavskaya in the final, I

    didn't agree with this because she has a great voice and incarnated her

    opera characters so well in the semi-finals. But however after her

    performance in the final I have to admit the doubts were legitimate. I was

    disapointed because of her failing technique, she sang terrible false and

    her interpretation was only based un Diva-gesticisme. I still think she has

    a marvellous voice and she's still young so she has many years to improve!

    After the break sang the Romanian tenor Marius Brenciu (26) Mozart (concert

    aria Per pieta), Meyerbeer (L'Africaine: Vaso de Gama), Verdi (Macbeth:

    Macduff) and Tsjaikovsky (Evgeni Onegin: Lenski). Brenciu has a warm but not

    often too weak tenor voice. He brought a whole different spectrum of opera

    characters but, in my opinion, many of this roles are (not yet) for his

    voice. Maybe he can sing one aria but certainly not the whole role. He

    didn't make a strong impression on me.

    The last singer for this evening was the Korean Soprano Sunhae Im (24), who

    was the best singer for me this evening. She chose 2 oratorio-arias: Brahms

    (Requiem) and Mozart (Et incarnatus est) and 2 opera-arias: Offenbach

    (Olympia) and Thomas (Hamlet: Ophélie). Her light-lyric coloratura-voice has

    a very pleasant timbre. Her coloratura-notes don't sound like a vocal

    exercise but she manages to colour them for her interpretation. Her 2

    oratorio-arias had a admirable simplicity and a fantastic legato and

    breath-control. Unlike many of the other Korean singers in this competition

    she expresses her personality through her pieces.

    The second evening begins with the Korean countertenor David Dong Qyu Lee

    (22). He sang Schumann (Das Paredis et die Peri), Händel (Caesar), Berlioz

    (La villanelle) and Rossini (Tancredi). This young countertenor has a

    vivacious personality. But rather than interpreting his music he smiles the

    whole time to the public (a real charmer of the public!). He had a lot of

    problems with his technique and his intonation. And one can doubt about him

    singing real mezzo-roles and Lieder with his male voice but I believe this

    discussion is already going on in vocalist...

    The Belgian soprano Véronique Solhosse (31) is the next candidate. The

    pressure on her had to be very large being the only Belgian competitor left

    in this stadium of the competition (you could see her being stressed and

    fatigued). I expected a lot from her because of her fine performance in the

    semi-finals (and because her voice and her repertoire resembles a bit mine!)

    Her program was: Duparc (Phidylé), Mozart (concert aria: Non temer, amato

    bene), Dvorak (Rusalka) and Verdi (Leonora: Pace mio dio). Duparc and Mozart

    I found a little tensed and uninspired. Rusalka was very beautiful; this

    role is really for her lyric voice. Leonora on the other hand was too early,

    she had to push to get over the orchestra and I missed the tragic nature.

    She left me a little disapointed.

    The next competitor was the very young Canadian bass Robert Pomakov (19). He

    chose 4 heavy arias: Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique), Gounod (Mephisto),

    Boito (Mefistofele) and Moussorgsky (Boris Godounov). My opinion is that he

    sang extremely well for his age but that his -already very mature - voice

    isn't not yet ready for those pieces. He's real podium personality and

    empathises incredible with the part. He's a great promise for the future

    when guided right!

    The last singer of the evening was the Dutch alto (mezzo??) Margriet Van

    Reisen (28). She sang Mozart (Laudamus te), Mahler (Ich bin der Welt

    abhanden gekommmen), Moussorgsky (Songs and Dances of the Death) and Rossini

    (Isabella). She has a very introvert (even a little sad) personality which

    suites the Lieder of Mahler and Moussorgsky very well. She brought them with

    a lot of depth and insight.

    And then the last evening of the finals which promised to be the best one if

    one could follow the performances of the semi-finals.

    First sang the Canadian alto (also a mezzo?) Marie-Nicole Lemieux (24).

    She choose for her last performance in the competition: Mozart (concert

    aria: Io ti laschi, e questo addio), Mahler (Liebst du um Schönheit and Ich

    bin der Welt abhanden gekommen), Tchaikovsky (Pikovaya Dama: Pauline) and

    Berlioz (L'île inconnue). She was the favourite of the public because of her

    innovating but yet very simple and generous personality. A great all-round

    singer with a marvellous warm timbre and an almost flawless technique. Every

    piece of music had his own right style and interpretation. She's my

    favourite too! I loved her colour in the Mahler Lieder. (I'm a great Mahler

    fan. I wrote an essay about the Kindertotenlieder and would love to hear her

    sing those!)

    The second candidate was the French baritone Pierre-Yves Pruvot (29). He

    sang Ravel (Don Quichotte a Dulcinée), Martin (Sechs monologues),

    Mendelssohn (Elias: Es ist genug) and Rossini (Figaro). I was very surprised

    because I didn't hear this singer in the semi-finals. He has a warm baritone

    voices and is a fantastic Lied-interpreter. But also his Mendelssohn and

    Rossini were very good. Very interesting program brought by a great


    The 27-year-old Syrian soprano Lubana Al Quntar sang Berlioz (Le spectre et

    la rose), Verdi (Aïda), Puccini (Suor Angelica: Senza mama) and Bernstein

    (Songfest). Without doubt is this the most interesting, spectacular and

    special voice of the competition; You may remember what she sang in the

    semi-finals: Rusalka and the Queen of the Night! And now she sang again

    dramatic and lyrical pieces. Her interpretation was more convincing in this

    round but still not yet so profound. But I heard from her current teacher

    that she only began really studying classical singing when she came to

    Europe last year in September. She discovered then her tremendous vocal

    capabilities. But she has still a way to go in discovering the nature of

    western music.

    And then last but not least the soprano Olga Pasichnyk (32, Ukraine).

    She made a very good impression in the semi-finals being the most allround

    singer with a very lovely lyrical voice, a solid technique and an

    intelligent personality. But she also the oldest one in competition and has

    already a lot of podium experience. her program was: Mozart (Exsultate

    Jubilate), Verdi (Glida: Caro nome), Debussy (L'enfant prodigue: Lia) and

    Britten (Les Illuminations). I was a little disapointed in her performance

    this evening: Mozart was good, Verdi was very beautiful but technical not so

    perfect (specially in the high notes). Lia is certainly not for her voice:

    she really had to push hard to get over the orchestra and as a result her

    technique failed her suddenly. And, as in the Britten, her French was really

    not good.

    But of course she's a very interesting competitor as she showed in the


    And then the waiting for the verdict of the jury began!! They had to

    pronounce 6 laureates and give a special price for Opera, Oratorio and Lied.

    And I don't want to keep you in suspense so here is the list!!

    1st price Marie-Nicole Lemieux

    2nd price Marius Brenciu

    3rd price Olga Pasichnyk

    4th price Pierre-Yves Pruvot

    5th price Lubana Al Quntar

    6th price Margriet Van Reisen

    The other finalists (in alphabetical order)

    Sunhai Im

    David Dong Qyu Lee

    Robert Pomakov

    Marina Poplavskaya

    Véronique Solhosse

    Karen Wierzba

    Special price for Opera: Marius Brenciu

    Oratorio: Olga Pasichnyk

    Lied: Marie-Nicole Lemieux

    And do I agree with the jury? Well I made my own judgement yesterday evening

    and I had the 6 laureates in the same order, except for the places 2 and 4

    (I switched those)!

    The special prices were more difficult and I don't agree with the jury

    giving the opera price to Marius Brenciu. I also don't agree with his second

    place. Is the world that short of real tenors??

    Ok, this was my (very personal) report of the competition. I hope I have

    given some idea what the competition is like. We've got an appointment for

    2004! (I'm planning on entering myself then!)





    P.S. I'm going to a after-competition concert on 4th June and I'm invited to

    a reception with the Laureates! Exciting!!!!

    Good luck Mortisia

  • 1 decade ago

    "Let The Bright Seraphim", by G.F. Handel. From Samson.

    If you want more tough baroque arias get a copy of 'Handel, 45 Arias from Operas and Oratorios for voice and piano" (high), vol 1. (Sergius Kagen). Published by Inernational Music Company, NYC.

  • 1 decade ago

    One of the most difficult has to be the "Queen of the Night" aria from Mozart's Magic Flute

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