Song Recitals: Intriguing and Fun, or Boring and Tedious?
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
The debate regarding song recitals is very deep. Some people find it lovely to be able to go see your favorite opera singer take the stage with a series of beloved arias, while others find it wrong to organize a program with many different types of operatic pieces because the audience is not as connected with the stage as they would be in a complete drama. Even if the arias included in the program are very similar, they argue, or from the same opera or by the same composer, the result is a boring show because it lacks staging and an orchestra.
What makes a recital so intriguing, though, is the intimacy between the audience and the artists. This intimacy creates an aura of pure enjoyment that fills the entire auditorium. The Recital itself is very controversial amongst opera enthusiasts; however, nearly every opera singer in the world loves to do recitals. It's that intimacy that makes the Recital so fun for the performer! Additionally, considering the fact that those who enjoy aria recitals outnumber those who don't, recitals can bring in a lot of money for the performers. They're also a great way to keep singers busy in between rehearsals and full performances. Whether or not the song recital is intriguing and fun, or boring and tedious is a matter of opinion, but the benefit for singers is unquestionable.
Recitals are also a major way to attract younger people and people who don't know much about the opera because recitals are not associated with boredom and overweight sopranos the way regular opera is.
A good song recital will cover a singer's core repertoire, as well as include some uncovered territory. A singer whose core repertoire is Verdi might sing a few Puccini arias in a song recital as a method of testing him or herself.
At least for now, considering these arguments, it is unlikely that concert halls will stop inviting singers to perform piano-accompanied aria recitals.