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Opera Inside Out by Robert Mitchell

Title Opera Inside Out
Author Robert Mitchell
Publisher
Release 2007-03-01
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 204
ISBN 9781425749347
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book is about more than opera. It´s certainly about opera, yes, but it is filled with anecdotal stories of Rev. Mitchell´s opera-singing days, from back-stage/on-stage incidents, to stories of singers, teachers, conductors, impressarios and more. OPERA INSIDE OUT also features detailed descriptions of seven well-known operas of the 40+ roles that Rev. Mitchell performed, including cast descriptions, story synopsis and in-depth analysis of plots, music, and background. Opera enthusiasts will learn things they didn´t know. Opera students will get help in preparing roles. Opera teachers will find in-depth help for their students. Theater lovers will immerse themselves in back-stage shenanigans. Opera aficionados will be amazed at David Schecter´s in-depth analyses. Aspiring artists will share an experience that inspires. The following is a sample story from the book: The only vocal challenge in the role of Fenton [Verdi´s FALSTAFF] is the aria, "Dal labro il canto estasiato vola" ("From my lips my ecstatic song is winging ") at the beginning of Act 3, Scene 1. It is very slow with long legato lines requiring considerable breath control. It also has a very high tessitura, adding to the difficulty. (Fenton is a role I stopped singing later in my career because of the taxing tessitura.) There is a long orchestral introduction to that scene. Maestro Amato used this languorous music to drop a scrim of the large oak tree in place, which dominates center stage. Actually, it was done in two sections. The trunk came up from below the stage and the branches dropped from above and they met halfway. It took perhaps two to three seconds to accomplish. The magical effect was that the tree appeared to grow before your very eyes. It had such a stunning effect on the audience that they invariably applauded, and one could hear even from backstage murmurs of approval and astonishment. From the audience the sound of the tree coming together was a sort of "woo-oo-sh!" But standing a few feet away from it nervously awaiting my only solo scene in the entire opera, it sounded more like a crash. The first time I heard it I nearly jumped out of my skin. Instinctively I raised my arms to cover my head thinking a set was about to drop on me. But no such thing happened. Once the tree is in place it was quiet except for the intro music. I am supposed to enter in a dreamy state. Yeah, right! My heart was still jumping from the fright. Relax, Robert. Calm down! It's OK. They applauded they didn't laugh so it must be OK. Relax, already! Think dreamy. Think Nanetta. Yeah, that's it, think Nanetta! Nanetta! Well, here goes

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