Alto: The Voice Of Bel Canto by Dan H. MarekAlto: The Voice Of Bel Canto by Dan H. Marek

Alto: The Voice Of Bel Canto

byDan H. Marek

Hardcover | October 20, 2016

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Everyone is familiar with the words diva or prima donna, which have come to mean a (usually) outrageous operatic soprano, but there was a time when the star of the show was more often a contralto, or a soprano singing in today's mezzo-soprano range. This performer was referred to as an alto. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the male and female leading roles were likely to be sung by emasculated males, the alto castrati, although there were many great female altos during this period as well. The music for these fantastic artists, written by such composers as Porpora, Vinci, Hasse, and even Handel, has been largely forgotten. At the beginning of the 19th century, as the castrati died out, their roles were often assumed by female altos referred to as musici. New repertoire continued to be written for them by Rossini and others, but gradually, this musical tradition and technique was lost. Now, however, because of the talent and industry of such gifted artists as Marilyn Horne, Cecilia Bartoli, and Joyce DiDonato, and the sudden ease with which the performance of these forgotten works can be obtained, there is a resurgence of interest in the performance and preservation of this lost art. Alto: The Voice of Bel Canto examines the careers of nearly 320 great alto singers, including the great castrati, from the dawn of opera in 1597 to the present. The music of the composers who wrote for the alto voice is discussed along with musical examples and suggestions for listening. The exploration of the greatest altos' careers and techniques offers inspiration for aspiring young singers as well as absorbing reading for the music lover who wants to know more about the fascinating world of opera.
Dan H. Marek is a distinguished international singer, teacher, and writer who has appeared as a principal tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and the Salzburg Opera. He is a teacher of voice at Mannes College of Music in New York City and is the author of Singing: The First Art (Scarecrow, 2006) and Giovanni Battista ...
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Title:Alto: The Voice Of Bel CantoFormat:HardcoverDimensions:258 pages, 11.44 × 8.82 × 0.8 inPublished:October 20, 2016Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1442265051

ISBN - 13:9781442265059

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Table of Contents

Part I: The Alto Voice in the Baroque Era Chapter 1. Mezzos and Contraltos Chapter 2. Why Castrati? Chapter 3. Altos in the Dawn of Opera Chapter 4. Altos, Neapolitan Style Chapter 5. Mr. "Hendel's" Altos Chapter 6. Faustina Bordoni and "Il Caro Sassone"Chapter 7. Gluck's Basses-Dessus and Mozart's Altos Chapter 8. Intermezzo Part II Altos in the Romantic Revolution Chapter 9. Cambio di Voce Chapter 10. The Swan of Pesaro and I Musici Chapter 11. The Maestro and the Prima Donna Assoluta Chapter 12. Giuditta PastaChapter 13. Caroline Unger (Ungher), The Forgotten Prima Donna Chapter 14. Maria Malibran Chapter 15. Pauline Viardot Chapter 16. The Altos of Grand Opéra Chapter 17, "La Favorite," Rosine StoltzChapter 18. Altos in Opéra Lyrique and Opéra ComiqueChapter 19. The Bel Canto Altos of Bellini and Donizetti Chapter 20. Verdi and Verismo Altos Chapter 21. German Romanticism, Wagner, Strauss, and the Alto Voice Chapter 22. The Russian Altos Chapter 23. Altos in the English Speaking World Part III Altos After 1900 Chapter 24. Twentieth Century Altos Chapter 25. Contemporary Alto Singers