SESSION Z1 CLASSICAL SINGING: ART SONG & OPERA SESSION: OPEN CHOICE

This session is designed due to several special requests during the 2016 Arts and Culture Festival.  Although Art Song, Opera etc. is included in the GENERAL singing session, we have decided to include this as a session totally isolated from the rest of the singing category. We provide the following information for you regarding the polemics surrounding Art Song and Opera.  There is a clear and definite difference between them.

TECHNICAL CLARIFICATION

QUESTION:  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ART SONG (classical singing) AND OPERA?

ANSWER:  Classical singing is an ambiguous term in the West, but implies the convergence of a number of European singing traditions geared toward creating a big vocal tone and sound with maximum natural resonance and without amplification. Of course, it also entails a certain literature. Baroque and pre-Baroque singing often falls under the header 'early music,' but classical singing from the late 17th century until today is pretty much what you'd imagine it to be in terms of the repertoire. Opera is a part of it.

 

Western composers over the ages have written a great deal of vocal music which is not opera, that is, which is something other than a stage drama with sets and costumes and acts and scenes all set to music. While many classical singers perform opera, many others do not take to the opera stage at all. There is a lot music for classical singers to choose from, as composers have written sacred and secular choral music, songs for soloists accompanied by a piano, chamber ensemble, or orchestra, and other types of non-dramatic or semi-dramatic music. All of these require 'classical singing.'

 

The basic classical techniques for singing opera and not-opera are largely the same, except that in operatic singing there is usually a greater emphasis on largesse and power in the voice, while in concert singing there is more room for delicate lyricism and nuance. That's rather a gross generalization to make on my part, but it has to do with the nature of the music and of the venue. An opera singer must project over a large orchestra and across a huge hall without the aid of amplification. Other classical singers do not normally have quite those odds stacked against them, as they often sing lighter and more subtle music in smaller spaces

IN SHORT: 

ART SONG is a vocal music composition, usually written for one voice with piano accompaniment, and usually in the classical art music tradition.  An art song is most often a musical setting of an independent poem or text. Intended for the concert repertory, as part of a recital or other relatively formal social occasion.  Songs that are part of a staged work (such as an aria from an opera or a song from a musical) are not usually considered art songs.   Songs with instruments besides piano (e.g. cello and piano) and/or other singers are referred to as VOCAL CHAMBER MUSIC and are usually not considered art songs.  Folk Songs and traditional songs are NOT art songs.  ARIA is typically a stand-alone piece from an opera.  For example:  O mio babbino caro is an aria from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi.  Nachtlied by Felix Mendelssohn is German Lied, which is a type of art song.

There is many other technical information about above-mentioned, but I trust that this will clear the uncertainties between Art Song, Aria and Opera.

GENERAL:

  1. A maximum of three (3) songs may be performed.
  2. A maximum of 15 minutes will be allowed for the three songs.
  3. Candidates to provide their own accompanists.
  4. Accompaniment may be done on instruments other than the piano. Please bring your own instruments.  Ensure

that it suits the overall style of performance.

  1. Entrants ARE NOT REQUIRED TO INCLUDE A COPY OF THEIR MUSIC WITH THE ENTRY FORM, BUT ARE

              REMINDED TO SUBMIT A COPY OF THEIR MUSIC TO THE ADJUDICATOR SECRETARY ON THE DAY OF     

              PERFORMANCE.  This copy may not be returned.

  1. Candidates are limited to the following languages: English, Afrikaans, German, Italian and French.
  2. Should a candidate so wish to perform three songs then the candidate must ensure that each song is accompanied by the appropriate entry form and the entry fee.

Editorial indications

Indications such as the realization of ornaments, phrasing, metronome marks, etc., need not be strictly observed. Where the music contains no such indications, candidates should use their discretion to achieve a musical performance.

Verses and repeats

Unless otherwise indicated in the syllabus, candidates should perform all items complete, although they may omit straightforward repeats of sections (i.e. where the music and words are unchanged and therefore little is added to the overall effect of the performance).  In verse/chorus songs, the choruses are required. All da capo and dal segno indications should be observed, unless the syllabus specifies otherwise.

Singing from memory

All items must be sung from memory, except for items from oratorios, cantatas and large-scale sacred works, where candidates are permitted to sing with score, if they wish, in accordance with accepted performance practice.

SESSION Z1.1

ART SONG

This session is open to Primary Schools, High Schools and Adults.

SESSION Z1.2

OPERA ARIAS

  1. Candidates can choose any ARIA from any OPERA.
  2. Candidates to choose according to their voice quality.

This session is open for High Schools and Adults

Entry All Singing