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Donizetti

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Aliens are better at arias

Of course, we knew that.

In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel Maskerade, Agnes Nitt auditions for the Ankh-Morpork opera company and shows off a range spanning from the lowest to the highest octave. The evaluation committee asks her if that’s her full range. No, she says, but if I go any higher I break things, and if I go any lower people get uncomfortable.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that human voices had no rhythmic or tonal limits. How do you think opera would change? Often the singer indicates the part — the soprano plays the ingenue, for example, and the tenor the hero. But now anyone can sing any part; hell, the soprano can sing the tenor’s part if she wants.

And another thought — how often do you think a composer thinks, I know what I want to do with the voice; how often do you think he thinks, I know what I want to do with the voice but it simply cannot be done?

Oh, and! Techno opera! Someone should get on this.

Where did this post start, again? Right, aliens.