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By Mary Elaine Wallace-House, Robert Wallace

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In every circumstance, the selection is dependent upon a director, conductor, or teacher who knows the vast operatic repertory and can select appropriate material with ease. Such selection requires more than a general knowledge of operas and their casts. Some years ago, faced with the problem of having to make such selections of scenes literally overnight, we began notating appropriate excerpts on cards and filing them for quick reference. These cards were our computer; they were indexed to remind us of scenes which used various combinations of voices, and they also contained additional pertinent information.

Although we have not indexed Page x this book in that way, it would not be difficult to decide upon a theme, publicize it early, and then choose the scenes to fit the title and the singers available. Almost any opera in the vast repertory could probably be excerpted in some way, although through-composed operas and those needing special effects and difficult stage settings are less likely to lend themselves to this treatment. In setting limitations for this volume we have used very few of Wagner's operas and have carefully indicated other operas requiring mature dramatic voices, as these voices are less likely to be found in the opera workshop as we know it today.

Ric i pp. 77107 This scene, a dramatic dialogue between Amneris (B2Ab4) and Aïda (to C5), also uses a chorus of slave girls (S-A), a dance of Moorish slaves which can be cut, and an offstage chorus which is doubled by the orchestra. The Egyptian Princess Amneris, attended by her slaves, has devised a plot to discover if her slave Aida is indeed in love with Radamès. Aïda enters; Amneris informs her that Radamès has been slain. Aïda's reaction to the news leaves no doubt as to her feelings. Amneris then informs her that Radamès lives and that she herself is a rival for his love.

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