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Singing in foreign langs. was Re: Greetings

From:Roger Mills <romilly@...>
Date:Saturday, January 11, 2003, 23:01
Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
>> That's something I've always been interested in: how do opera singer
>> to sing in languages they don't know.
>I might add here, that (at least here) an Italian course is a normal part
>the vocal traject in a conservatory. > >This does, of course, not mean that every musician is able to speak (or
>for that matter) any language without an accent. >
Case in point: Joan Sutherland. When she first appeared on the scene in the 60s her Italian was afflicted with a truly dreadful Australian accent (apologies to all the Ozzies....). Apparently the critical reaction had an affect, since after a year or two she managed to correct it. Singing in general seems to deform language in curious ways. Though fluent in Spanish, I've never been able to puzzle out songs, aside from the inevitable rhymes "corazón...amor". A slightly crazed friend heard "with innocent pleasures" (from Purcells's "Come ye sons of art") as "with hymnals and prayerbooks", and the Magnificat's "quia fecit mihi magna" as "we are facing Mimi Gaga"-- childhood names for his grandmothers.


Sally Caves <scaves@...>
BP Jonsson <bpj@...>