A Quiet Opera
Opera singing was born of an era where large spaces needed filling by large voices, so opera singing training focussed on generating the huge voice; singers with naturally huge voices are prized and all training is geared to how to produce a powerful yet pure voice. In order to encourage 'real' performances from opera singers, Opera directors often find themselves in conflict with the musical purists - the physical demands on the singer's body of producing a resonant and musically true voice are at odds with the directors' demand for a believable true performance. the conventions of opera are from another age. This is why modern opera can be a particularly cringeworthy and pointless spectacle - it is an archaic artform, from another age. No architect would design a gothic cathedral now We can still appreciate the beauty, incredible skill and painstaking labour that went into its making. So why is designing a new gothic cathedral or Palace of Versailles now unthinkable and laughable yet composers still believe they can make a new opera from outdated tools? To continue the parallel with architecture (you could do it with any art or practice from painting to commerce, even warfare), the modern architect uses all means at their disposal- materials and technology to design their buildings, yet the opera composer is still working trying to produce something 'contemporary' with archaic practices. it maybe why much opera seems ridiculous and has become an acquired taste. Opera lovers will defend their beloved artform - Whether you love the intimacy of Baroque opera or the grand transcendence of Wagner, and regard any criticism as sacrilegious, what is defensible? it could be a) the beauty of the music b) the uniqueness of opera performance. Its harder to justify the new classical opera either from the point of view ofeither its musical language or performance.