Today, I have great joy in sharing with you one of my Spotify Playlists called ‘Coloratura Arias for Soprano’. The Playlist is based on the G. Shirmer Opera Anthology called by the same name. I am a big fan of the Schirmer anthologies. I appreciate having so many arias in one book, as well as the accompanying diction and piano accompaniment CDs.
The Playlist is the result of months of exploring Spotify. Every week I add a recording of two because there are so many recordings available. Some are difficult to find because they are misnamed or are buried within a compilation CD.
This Playlist includes nearly a century and a half of recordings. There are some exciting examples of how diverse the various singers’ interpretations of the same aria can be. There are some exciting new singers like South Africa’s Pretty Yende on the Playlist, as well as singers from the turn of the 20th Century. You will see I favour the earlier singers, singers like Frieda Hempel, Claudia Muzio and, of course, Lilli Lehmann. Lehmann’s recordings, made when she was in her latter years, are a very useful addition to her book, biography and reviews.
In a recent Masterclass this year in Capetown, South Africa, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa cautioned singers about imitating recordings. Dame Kiri wanted to hear the singer’s unique voice. I hope this Spotify Playlist demonstrates how the great singers, since the invention of the gramophone, have had the courage to display their own unique voice. Encouragement to us all to keep searching.
There is ten hours of listening at the time of uploading this link. I hope you enjoy, as much as I do, the brilliant technique of these singers.