And finally….the low-voiced men!
Our baritones had a tie for most popular aria; we heard both Hai gia vinta la causa and Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen nine times and we heard them both five times in the first round. Bass-baritones added one more of the Count, but more notably were the only group with real repetition in a Slavic aria. Aleko’s Cavatina was the most sung in this voice type, with a total of five hearings, four in the first round, and one in callbacks. Basses rounded things out in the most popular category with four hearings of il lacerato spirito (Simon Boccanegra) all in the first round.
Between the basses and the bass-baritones we heard Madamina (Don Giovanni) six times, four in bass-baritones and two in basses. We heard a bit of Barbiere with Largo al factotum sung seven times by the baritones, we heard one bass-baritone sing Bartolo’s La Vendetta, and one bass sing La Calunnia.
In addition to the Aleko, Slavic arias were well represented. The baritones gave us Robert’s Aria (Iolanta), Onegin’s Arioso, and Ja vas lyublyu (Queen of Spades). Bass-baritones sang Ja tot, katoramu vnimala (The Demon, Rubinstein), and rounding it out basses brought us Song of the Viking Guest (Sadko) and Prince Gremin’s aria (Eugene Onegin) sung once each.
We heard some shared repertoire among these low fachs in the English arias as well. Baritones brought several very new pieces, including Peculiar Grace (Fire Shut Up in My Bones), Impossible (The Falling and the Rising), and Jan’s Aria (Breaking the Waves) as well as some chestnuts that included Warm as the Autumn Light (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Within this frail crucible of light (The Rape of Lucretia), Thousands of Miles (Lost in the Stars, Weill) and Epiphany (Sweeney Todd).
Bass-baritones and basses sang Bottom’s Dream (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) each voice type singing it twice, once in the first round and once in the second round. Bass-baritones also sang Come Master (The Rake’s Progress, Stravinsky) three times in the second round. Britten’s O beauty, o handsomeness goodness (Billy Budd) was sung twice, once each in the first and second round. We heard all three of Olin Blitch’s arias, I’m a Lonely Man, Susannah in round one, and the other two in callbacks.