Divo: Great Tenors, Baritones, and Basses Discuss Their Roles

Helena Matheopoulos, Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (338p) ISBN 978-0-06-015634-3
Twenty-five singing actors11 tenors, five baritones, three bass-baritones and six bassesthoughtfully appraise their craft: diverse interpretations of roles and individual roles they have marked as their own, vocal demands, techniques and, as baritone Sherrill Milnes notes, ""the unpredictability of the instrument we have to work with.'' These divos, when not discussing voice technicalities that nonprofessionals will likely find tedious, make interesting observations about distinctions between French and Italian stylestenor Alfredo Kraus's timbre, for instance, is best suited to the French, whereas tenors Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras have the sensual voices for the Italianbetween the requirements of the belcantistic repertoirethey agree that young singers should concentrate here, that a role like Germont is ideal for the beginnerand the veristic, which demands maturity of voice and experience. That attitudes prove to be as varied as the divos themselves makes this lively, instructive reading, although, unfortunately, the editing is so indifferent as to allow the very much alive Rudolf Bing to be described as ``the late'' and to let stand ``general consensus'' in at least six instances. Matheopoulos is the author of Maestro. Photos not seen by PW. (November
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 12/01/1986
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