Are Opera singers merely very accomplished craftsmen - where does the “Art” come into it?
What is “Art” anyway?
I believe that “Art” lies in communication and a sense of connection that it brings when experienced.
It should not be confused by mere emotions because it reminds us of something that once made us happy, angry or sad.
Something more profound takes place when an artist has mastered their medium and cleared the path for their soul ( for lack of a better word) to pass through it.
As a classical singer our medium, the voice, is tied to the medium of a composer, his composition.
When a great singer renders a great piece of music, it’s magical. You can also feel the limits when a great singer sings a not-so-great piece of music and vice versa.
Because we are not creating the medium through which we communicate we face limitations in what we have to work with and comparisons to artists that have done it before us.
In narrowing down what opera singing should sound like to the sound of past singers because it was “perfect” for them - the unique creation of the current singers is stifled and in my opinion the art-forms evolution is halted.
Singers work within the frameworks given but they have to have the freedom and courage to give it their own expression - as every great composer intended.
His creation was meant to be completed in the hands of the musicians. The flow of creation does not stop on the page - it lives on and evolves at the hands of the instrumentalists and in the sound of the singer - they have to be brave enough to add to it not just read the recipe.
Don’t stifle your creativity by trying to fit into the expression of someone else. You become a “cookie-cutter” singer, it’s boring.
It echos of something great but it does not evoke a profound connection with your audience.
Find your own spice.
It’s easy to just follow a recipe, the hard part is to bring out what’s written between the lines.