Singing in Czech: A Guide to Czech Lyric Diction and Vocal Repertoire

by Timothy Cheek, Sir Charles Mackerras

Format: Mixed media product 392 pages

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A much-needed guide for singers, vocal coaches, voice teachers, collaborative pianists, and opera and choral conductors. Practical and authoritative, Part One of this pioneering book takes the reader systematically through each sound of the Czech language, enhanced by a recording of native Czech opera singers. The formation of each sound is described, and when useful, compared to English, the Romance languages, German, and Russian. Every sound is assigned an IPA symbol, along with exercises and examples, always with the technical and expressive considerations of the singing voice in mind. Chapters cover the Czech vowels; consonants; rules of assimilation; approaches to singing double consonants; stress and length; Moravian dialect; and an introduction to singing in Slovak. Part Two presents a thorough overview of Czech vocal repertoire, along with the texts to major song literature and opera excerpts by Smetana, Dvorak, Janacek, Martinu, and Haas, with timings, editions, word-for-word translations, idiomatic translations, and IPA transcriptions. Specific works have been chosen for every voice type, and for every level. Even a work ideal for an Opera Workshop scenes program has been selected. Useful appendices list publishers, organizations, and Czech poets.

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