Opera singer ordained as a priest
  • IdeK
    Posts: 44
    https://fr.aleteia.org/2019/07/04/il-quitte-une-brillante-carriere-de-baryton-pour-devenir-pretre/

    I noted that the mass that somehow converted him was at St. Gallen monastery, where I understand the music is beautiful (even though he says he has learnt since to appreciate the efforts of old ladies cantors in rural parishes !)
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,685
    Well, yes, but can he sing CHANT??
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,487
    Well, yes, but can he sing CHANT??


    He's a baritone. He can do whatever the hell he wants. :)

    Which brings to mind a question - after finally getting the chance to see Poulenc's Dialogue of the Carmelites, where the priest is a tenor (one more confirmation of Poulenc's sound liturgical sense) I started to wonder - are there any other priest characters in the opera repertoire that aren't basses?
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,782
    any other priest characters in the opera repertoire that aren't basses?
    But of course.
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  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,487
    But of course.


    You do God's work, Dr. Mix - but does it count if des Grieux lapses?
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,894
    Of course, Stim, but he has to go to confession.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,685
    Well, then. Since no less authority than JSBach used baritones to voice Christ (the Passions), should not all priests be baritones? Alter Christus, and all that....
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,885
    Wonder if he has color coordinated Viking horns to go with the vestment colors of the day?
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,487
    he has to go to confession.


    Oops. Opera brings out the Donatist in me, it seems . . .
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    He's a baritone. He can do whatever the hell he wants. :)


    NO. HE. CANNOT!!!!!!! (and HELL does not make the rules!)

    OK... I have restrained my comments long enough.

    A priest who is an opera singer is going to have one side of himself fighting against the other side...(if he has any sense of being a 'true' priest of the order of Melchizedek) In short, he should renounce his identity as an opera singer altogether if hopes to retain any sense of sanity.

    "Opera"... it's all about ME and MY expertise and exhibiting the musical gymnastics that display the 'beautiful voice that God has blessed me with to share with humanity...'

    (WRONG!) This is why the term DIVA emerged in our vocabulary. (what is the male version of a Diva?)

    Opera is a divergence from what the 'singer' (correction: chanter) is supposed to do with his/her voice... It is supposed to glorify God and bring clarity and transparency to the words that are sung... opera DOES. NOT. DO. THIS... it is a haughty display of arrogance that draws attention to self. Period.

    I know this will offend... but it must be said.

    This is what pope after pope and bishop after bishop and age after age fought against in the documents on liturgy and the essence of true sacred music throughout time. Look it up in the ultimate Hayburn publication.

    https://www.amazon.com/Papal-Legislation-Sacred-Music-1977/dp/0814610129

    I have wrestled with too many of these "aggrandizing personalties" throughout my entire 50 year career, and they are a true distraction away from the liturgy and all that authentic sacred music represents and what the essence of how sacred music should be at the service of the liturgy.

    NOTE: I am NOT SAYING that this priest falls into this category... but he should very well consider his motivations for his musical aspirations.

    How else can I say this more clearly!!!!!??????

  • Incardination
    Posts: 615
    What is the male version of a Diva?


    Divus

    :)
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    About "The Papal Legislation on Sacred Music"

    This book brings together the writings of the popes on sacred music. Many of these documents are almost totally unknown, some are found only in Latin, and a great number are inaccessible to the average musician. They form a vast panorama of legislative thought. Fragmentary references are found in the writings of such early popes as St. Damascus (375-384), St Celestine (422-432), St. Sixtus (432-440), St. Leo the Great (440-451, and others of this era. More important steps were taken by Gregory the Great (590-604), Leo IV (847-855), John XXII (1316-1334), Benedict XIV (1740-1758), Pius IX (1846-1878), and Leo XIII (1878-1903).

    All of the documents accumulate in power as one great crescendo which reached its fortissimo with St. Pius X’s Tra le sollecitudini of November 22, 1903. This mortu proprio on sacred music was the climax of all previous legislation on Church music, and it still remains the highlight of Church music law. The documents which follow it are explanations and augmentations of the principles laid down by Pius X. They add little that is new, but rather set forth in greater detail and for current usage the liturgical and norms which he envisaged.

    In approaching this work the first problem was to learn how many papal documents on sacred music exist. As there was no list, it was necessary to compile such an outline. Msgr. Florentius Romita’s Jus musicae liturgicae contains mant of the better known documents. From the footnotes therein, it was possible to find mant other additional sources, such as Hanin, Otano, Pons, Altisant, and Duclos. The White List of the Society of St. Gregory of America, as well as the two books of Richard R. Terry, gave some information as to the decrees of teh Congregation of Sacred Rites. From these leads it was possible to start. From research in the Vatican Library, mant additional items were found in the collection of the late Monsignor Casimiri. With the aid of microfilm and the Vatican sources, it was possible to compile a long list of papal writings on music. Other documents were located at the Abbey of St. Pierre de Solesmes in France.

    The Decreta authentica of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, as found in the Muhlbauer, Gardellini, and the 1898 editions were carefully studied. They contain many decrees of secondary importance which had never appearded in other books, and which are, for all practical purposes, unknown as documents of sacred music. From this research resulted a long list of documents, many of which are not to be found in the standard works on Church music legislation. The list, for the most part, was complete.

    The second problem was translation. About 80 percent of the documents were either in Latin, Italian, Spanish, German, or French. The greater number were in Latin, as contained in the official books of the Catholic Church. Many translations were found in loder periodicals on Church music such as Echo, Church Music, Review of Church Music, The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, American Ecclesiastical Review, The Catholic Choirmaster, The Tablet (London), and the Dolphin.

    The third problem was to decide whether the presentation should be chronological or topical. For the most part the presentation is chronological, but certain chapters are topical, such as those on the Medicean, Ratisbon and Vatican editions of chant books. Within certain topically-organized sections of other chapters-chapter 9 on the “Reforms of Pius X” and chapter 10 on the “Effect of the motu proprio of November 22, 1903″-a chronological presentation follows.

    Most of the decrees of the Congregation of Sacred Rites on music have been grouped together in appendix 1. Where especially applicable, however, decrees of this congregation have been placed in the chapters on the Medicean, Ratisbon, and Vatican editions of chant books. Moreover, the decrees which bear on the reforms of Pius X have likewise been placed in that particular chapter. Certain decrees on music by other congregations oare found in appendix 1.

    The othr appendices describe the Ceremonial of Bishops, provide the notes to Cardinal Sarto’s votum of 1893, explain the classification and binding force of papal documents, give the texts of recent documents on sacred music, offer a chronological list of the documents, a bibliography for this work, and an index of the people, places, and events about which pertinent statement is made in the book.

    The purpose of this work was to locate, translate, and place in historical context the documents of papal legislation on Church music. It is hoped that others will analyze, compare, and synthesize this vast collection of data, undoubtedly shedding still further light on the mind of the Church on sacred music.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    thank you incardination... i did a little research...

    Paula R. Stiles
    Paula R. Stiles, SFWA member, PhD Medieval History, BA Classics, Ed. Innsmouth Free Press, RPCV.
    Answered Feb 22 2016 · Author has 452 answers and 753.2k answer views
    The basic distinction is that deus is a higher level of divinity than divus. I read a quite fascinating article a while back in the Ancient Greece and Rome volume of the Athlone History of Magic in Europe about how early Christians took their ideas about angels and demons from the Greco-Roman concept of the "daemones." These daemones were minor, often nameless divine beings, both good and evil, who lived in the aether between earth and heaven. Most had never been human, but there was a group of them who consisted of deified Heroes--human demigods whose mighty feats had raised them to god status.

    As I understand it, deus connotes someone like the monotheistic God in Abrahamic religions or a higher god in a polytheistic system like Zeus or Hera, someone who represents universal well above the human or even human endeavors. Divus is a designation given to a human who has been awarded (by a human institution like the Roman Senate) the posthumous status of a minor god and worshiped as such. The Emperor Cult of Rome, for example, is really a divus cult, not a deus cult. I'm not sure if it's the only way the term is used, but you could look at the use of divus in relation to the Emperors as a signal of a heightened form of the Ancient Roman ancestor cult and therefore related to the lares and genii.


    Clarification:

    The basic distinction is that deus is a higher level of divinity than divus
    There is only ONE Deus... it is NOT a level!... it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Godhead.
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  • davido
    Posts: 165
    Diva is Italian, not Latin. In the opera world a male can be a divo
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Thank you, davido
    Diva is Italian, not Latin. In the opera world a male can be a divo
    figures... Latin does not even allow for the concept...?

    in the Catholic world, a male cannot be a divo OR a divus... just sayin.
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  • Incardination
    Posts: 615
    My post was tongue-in-cheek... but MW has this for the etymology of diva:

    Italian, literally, goddess, from Latin, feminine of divus divine, god — more at DEITY

    Divo is correct for Italian, though I do see some sources referring to divus.

    Of course, the most accurate representation would be "Tenor".
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Tenor... LMAO

    However, in my personal vast experience, the female-opera-singer-variety is definitely more Diva-us
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  • you lost me at "Apostolic Godhead". Could we have a separate thread on this?
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,885
    If I could get a few opera singers and other singers who could match pitch, read notes, and would come to rehearsals, I would be singularly blessed among men.
  • is there a conception somewhere in here that one who sang opera can certainly never have a true vocation to the priesthood? God calls whom He wants.

    what's more problematic (imho) is that the two types of singing are so very different. If
    a person spends a lifetime learning to use vibrato, and to polish off the end of a note, it's very hard to learn to sing plainly, and to gently fade away at endings instead. I know from personal experience with such a one.

    Not every trained singer is a div(a/us/o). Opera is just an art form using voice instead of paint. Egos are found in every art, and in every science, and in every profession; part of fallen human nature (and nature, Mr Allnut, is what we were put in this world to rise above). :-D

    how about saying a Hail Mary for this newly ordained priest, who listened to the still, small voice, and gave his adsum for such a monumental task in these darkening times?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Please be clear... I am NOT knocking the priest... ... just speaking of my experience with the genre of Div(a)(o)(u) that almost always ascend from the realm of opryland.

    As far as the genre of opera, let's just say I avoid them at all costs. (and this is a small insight into my love of Mozart)

    As far as Hail Mary's go, I (always try to) pray a rosary every day for the entire church, beginning with the pope(s?), the bishops, cardinals, brothers, sisters, monks, nuns, and the laity. So please include me in your daily prayers... you are ALL in mine!
  • Francis - Yes, you were clear: not knocking the priest.

    I've met a lot of non-fans of opera. I understand their reasons, but I find a lot of beauty there as well.

    When I was 13, my Gramma asked me if I liked opera. I said eeeew, no! and she (a former Ziegfeld girl!) smiled and said, don't worry, you will.
    When I was 16, I told my Mom, Gramma asked me that and I said eeew, no - but you know what? Now I do.
    Mom smiled and said, ah, but do you like [WWII big band music]? I said, eeew, no! and she smiled and said, don't worry, you will.
    When I was 19, I told my college roomie, Mom asked me that and I said eeew, no - but you know what? Now I do.
    She smiled and said, ah, but do you like Elvis? I said, EEEEW, NO !!!!
    AND ALL THESE DECADES LATER I STILL DON'T !!!! one has to draw the line somewhere.
    I now return everyone to the original thread. :-)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,089
    Since. When. Are. All. Opera. Singers. Divas or Divos? It sounds as if some are expounding a rather divoted attitude here. One can be an opera singer and at the same time be an accomplished and sensitive singer of Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque sacred & liturgical music.

    It sounds as if some are expounding a rather bigodivoted attitude here towards opera singers who happen also to be liturgical music chanters.
  • the singer I mentioned is not only immensely talented, musically, but is one of the most genuinely humble people I have ever met. Now, like Fr. Thierry Felix, the footlights are put away; now, all those talents are laid at the foot of the altar; and it's beautiful to see.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Charles... I suspect your comment is directed to me, yes? I NEVER said ALL. I said ALMOST ALWAYS... in fact, I have never received one into the music program for a church that did not have an ego issue that truly got in the way. I am glad you have had a different experience.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,885
    No, it wasn't directed at you. My singers are quite ordinary volunteers, and the ones who could truly sing professionally are many years removed from that now. I would welcome anyone who could sing at the trained singer level.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    wrong Charles... I meant CHG
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  • davido
    Posts: 165
    3 Observations:

    1. Most Music directors experience is probably with AMATEUR opera singers, folks with voice degrees etc, but people with enough vocal technique faults that they are not yet and may never be professional opera singers. These are also the folks that tend to be hard to work with. Successful professional singers are generally great to work with, or else they quickly become FORMER professional singers.

    2. There is a school of thought in the opera world that if you sing church and choral rep you may be asked to do things vocally that will compromise your vocal technique. For instance at Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, students are warned against taking church jobs. Opera is SO competitive that singers often feel they need every advantage and have to focus exclusively on a technique that will allow them to sing opera.

    3. There are a lot of church musicians and choir directors out there that really can’t sing. In other words, they are not making attractive sounds or have deplorable vocal technique. This has been true of presenters at CMAA colloquia. I think this is unfortunate as it sets the bar really low for the volunteer church musicians.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,885
    There are a lot of church musicians and choir directors out there that really can’t sing. In other words, they are not making attractive sounds or have deplorable vocal technique. This has been true of presenters at CMAA colloquia.


    Church musicians that can't sing, and at CMAA? Heresy. Anathema.

    I actually know what you mean. I do the best I can with what I have and with no money from the parish. If I had better, I would gladly use it.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,652
    .
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  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 134
    @StimsonInRehab "Dead Man Walking" has a priest who's a tenor. I played the character once...fantastically fun role.
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  • jcr
    Posts: 31
    There is a very nice little book which is a published version of a master's thesis by a grad student at Occidental College titled "In Search of Answers". It is interesting to note the attitudes of choral conductors who were interviewed by the author. It makes for interesting reading for those of us for whom the choral craft (which Robert Shaw once said he was afraid was sinking) is a part of our work.