Alandornak

Podcast 38: Alan Dornak and Countertenor Culture

We are joined by Alan Dornak who tell us about what it means to be a Countertenor, and about the Orfeo Vocal Academy. And in “Noah’s Culture Bits” we have an experimental opera movie “River of fundament” by artist, model, sculptor, Matthew Barney.

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Show Notes

  • Alan Dornak – countertenor, voice teacher and opera director at Wagner College and on faculty at AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy), and the General Director of the Orfeo Vocal Arts Academy, a 3-week summer vocal intensive in Dresden, Germany.
  • Music Credit: Allegra Durante & Alan Dornak
    • Jewels of the Baroque
    • Vertical Player Repertory
  • Frontiers Fort Worth opera Festival  – Frontiers – Fort Worth Opera Festival
    • Very Supportive Audiences
    • New York Snarky Audiences?
    • Sweets by Kate – Griffin Candey libretto by Thom Miller
    • Service Provider – Christopher Weiss and John de los Santos
      • The erosion of Romance by our obsession with mobile technology
      • Microphones, amplified
    • Francois Nouvion – Historica Tenors Website (No longer active)
      • “The tenor of the future, 2 mics and no voice”
  • Countertenors
    • Stereotypes – small and effeminate? Partiers?
  • Der Rosenkavalier – Met LIVE in HD
    • Staged By Robert Carson
    • Inventive Staging
    • Set in 1911
    • Renee Fleming – the Marchellin
      • Will be headlining in “Carousel” on Broadway as Nettie Fowler, Spring 2018
    • Elîna Garança – Octavian
      • looked like Steven Costello
    • Günter Groissböck
      • Final Act set in a Brothel
    • Mohammad as a Name in translation versus “Dem Mohammed” which is slightly racist?
  • Oklahoma at Bard College
  • Cyrano de Bergerac – Metropolitan Opera
    • Composer, Franco Alfano
    • Original story by Alexander Dumas? (Correction: Edmond Rostand)
  • La Campana Sommersa – Ottorino Respighi
    • New York City Opera
    • Set looked like a dune made of sand
  • Hunter Opera Theater
    • Ladybird
      • Composer: Henry Mollicone
        • “Face on the Ballroom Floor”
      • Librettist: Sheldon Harnick
    • Fireworks – Kitty Brazelton
      • Composer: Kitty Brazelton
      • Librettist: Billy Aronson
      • Microphones
      • Sung like Musical Theater
  • The Secret Gardener – Mozart
    • On Site Opera
    • Performed in a public garden
    • Comparison of early Mozart to Music Theater
  • Opera and Musical Theater Microphones – is it definitional
    • Monteverdi were not written for trained singers
    • American vocalism vs. Italian sound
    • Treatises and Singing Technique
    • Neapolitan street singing
    • Do we really know anything about how people sang historically?
    • Leon Botstein “Reading a treatise about how people sang historically, is like reading the bible to learn about how people had sex”
    • Baroque Music in Europe vs. America
  • Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf
    • Edward Albee
    • A black actor in the role of Nick
  • The Glass Menagerie
    • Sally Field and Joe Mantello
    • Ignoring Stage directions
    • Disabled Actress
      • Cerebral Palsy
  • Anthony and Cleopatra – Johann Adolf Hasse
    • Anthony Played by a Woman – Vittoria Tesi
    • Cleopatra by a Man – Firanelli
  • Women Playing Men (Pants Rolls)
    • What about Men singing Women’s rolls?
    • Tosca with Scarpia played as a Woman “Passing”
    • Men singing Castrati Roles
  • Countertenor Voice vs. Castrati Voice
    • What was the sound?
    • Vocal chords size of a child and lungs of an adult?
    • Size of the face?
    • Alessandro Moreschi (11 November 1858 – 21 April 1922)
    • The Last Castrato
    • Was an Old Man, and Not trained well
    • Tenor character up an octave
    • Using a chest voice sound up high
    • Stephan Zucker – Bel Canto Society
    • Chest Voice idea has changed – has to do with resonance
    • Teaching Countertenor is same as any other voice
    • There are no countertenor-only teachers
  • River of fundament
  • Matthew Barney
    • Filmaker and sculpture
    • Was a Male Model
    • Installation art
    • Dating with Bjørk
    • Rivers of Fundament (Warning this contains very graphic imagery)
    • 6 hour film
    • brain adjusts to long works
    • first hour is excruciating but eventually gives over to it
  • Indie Opera Live!
    • Women in Opera
    • National Opera Center
    • Marc Scorca Hall
    • June 5, 7:30 pm
  • New York Opera Festival

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