I was watching the Tonys last night. Tunes from Broadway musicals seem to sound the same as they always have. In the meanwhile life has gone on.
But that isn't why I'm posting. Audra McDonald won the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for Porgy and Bess, and she sang during the broadcast. There is a problem. Don't get the wrong idea: she richly deserves this award. If you don't like it when I do this sort of thing, please stop reading now.
Porgy and Bess is an opera, and to perform it really requires opera rules, not musical rules. Musical rules are seven or eight performances a week. Opera rules are absolutely no more than three performances a week. Bess is a spinto, someone like Leontyne Price. Audra McDonald is not. She is a lyric soprano. Put as succinctly as I possibly can--her voice is not big enough for what she is doing with it, and she is hurting it. She may already have passed the point of no return.
I'm sorry, but if not me then who?
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