“I think a lot about air. Singing in opera you look for safety, something to hang onto. Some singers try to hold onto notes, but you need to let the air swell and release, swell and release the way it does in a bellows, so that the tone can swell that way too.”
Our Debbie Voigt talks about her forthcoming Ägyptische Helena (“Helen of Egypt”, premieres Friday at the Met), Richard Strauss rarely-staged (the last time at the Met, only 79 years ago) opera. The New York Times page holds some .mp3s, too.
It's a shame that Strauss' Helena doesn't seem to get teh love from opera houses and conductors, because it's so clearly a masterpiece that it isn't even funnay -- only Guntram is more forgotten, among Strauss' works. That funny Clemens Krauss even reported that Strauss himself cosidered his Helena kinda a$$y, but the reasons for its lack of success in recent years, Opera Chic is afraid, lies in the very complicated nature of the orchestration -- and the totally unforgiving vocal parts.
It's a deceptively simple -- and shockingly modern -- work. OC is very happy that Voigt is attacking -- just another Debbie's revenge against those st00pid fatty-h8rs. Yay for Voigt!