Luciano Pavarotti, Barbara Hannigan and Diana Damrau are some of the greatest opera singers/performers of all time. Pavarotti was an Italian operatic tenor born in 1935 and died in 2007. Hannigan is a Canadian conductor and a soprano born in 1971 and is famous for her modern opera performances. Damrau is a German operatic soprano known for her enactment of Mozart’s musical compositions. In the three videos, Luciano Pavarotti sings “Puccini’s Nessun Dorma,” Barbara Hannigan performs “Legiti’s Mystery of the Macabre,” and Diana Damrau sings Mozart’s “Queen of the Night.” The three performances use varying types of voices and have different features that make the listener have a particular reaction to each of them.
Firstly, the Pavarotti performance was mostly about his voice. His tenor has a particular unpopular timbre that is wonderful. At some point, it sounded like a countertenor. It also seems to overwhelm the melodious orchestral sounds accompanying the singing. Thus, the singer’s unique voice dominates the entire performance.
Additionally, Hannigan uses the soprano voice at its highest. Despite most of her performance being dominated by dramatic acts, she manages to hit the highest pitch as demanded by the composition. However, her vocal range did not get into the C two octaves. As a result, her voice surpassed all other sounds and so her leading role in the performance.
Moreover, Damrau used the spinto soprano characterized by brilliant high notes with dark timbre. Her voice was relatively light in the climaxes. She also managed to “push” it to dramatic highpoints with little strain. Thus, her voice was naturally suited for the enactment of Mozart’s “Queen of the Night.”
My Reaction to the Pieces
To begin with, Luciano Pavarotti made a great job harmonizing his unique timbre with the rests of the orchestral sounds. He managed to rich the climaxes without much struggle. The background singers also produced harmonious echoes that increased the overall quality of the presentation. However, the lead singer tended to lag for some reason. Whether the composition demanded this interval or not, it affected my impression on the opera.
Additionally, Barbara Hannigan performance of “Legiti’s Mystery of the Macabre” was largely unpleasant. She might have done a good job in singing her soprano parts, but the superficial dramatic incorporations failed terribly. The squeaking noises and the seductive moves she made did not impress me. The orchestra too played its fair share to the failure of the performance. In general, the performance was a complete failure according to me.
Lastly, Diana Damrau singing of Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” was wonderful. From her thematic dressing to the unmatched soprano climaxes, the singer impressed me the most. Her dramatic integration of the piece matched her singing and was not characterized by performance awkwardness as seen on Hannigan’s show. Therefore, Damrau presentation was my favorite.
Differences between the three Arias
One of the key differences among the three performances was the voices used. Pavarotti used tenor, which was perceptibly different from that of the female singers. Hannigan and Damrau sang in the soprano voice. However, their vocal range was different. Thus the main dissimilarity among the performances was the voices used.
The three musicians had varying types of voices that affected the quality of the performance. Pavarotti used tenor, which made the performance mostly about the quality of his voice. Hannigan used soprano at its highest pitch. Unlike her female counterpart, Damrau incorporated a different type of soprano known as spinto soprano. All in all, Damrau was my favorite singer among the three performers.