Wspomnienia głosem pisane. O autobiografiach śpiewaków
Memories sung in words — singers' autobiographies
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The article Memories sung in words — singers' autobiographies aims at identifying main topics and patterns present in autobiographical writings of classical singers. Discovering of vocal talent and musicality, desire to become a singer, role of voice teachers and men-tors (conductors, stage directors etc.), highlights of the career, fears and failures, vocal crises, dealing with criticism and negative judgements, daily routines aimed on vocal fitness, balancing private and professional life, cultural and historical background — all these aspects are discussed here on two remarkable examples: ... und ich wäre so gern Primadonna gewesen. Erinnerungen (Berlin 1994, English: In My Own Voice. Memoirs. New York 2009) by Christa Ludwig, one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of postwar opera, and Zeit eines Lebens. Auf Fährtensuche (Stuttgart 2000) by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, one of the most famous Lieder performers, often called in Germany ‘the voice of the 20th cen-tury’. Verbalizing the universe of their artistic and life experience they both express the essence of being a classical singer: ‘The singing profession is slavery! It only looks easy and enviable from the outside. You are showered with bravas and blossoms [...], but from the beginning the sword of Damocles always hangs over your head. After a certain age you no longer have the ease, and your voice is no longer as radiant. Indeed, you must stop singing just at the time when you finally know what singing is all about’ (Christa Ludwig, In My Own Voice. Memoirs).
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