Seattle Opera premiered Daron Hagen’s opera Amelia in May of 2010. Hagen is an American composer who writes not only opera and art song, but symphonies, concerti, ballets, and chamber works. I find his words about the voice written within the liner notes of his CD “Love in a Life” incredibly sympathetic.
“When a singer sings, he has nowhere to hide. He is the matador to the listener’s bull. A pianist can still depress the keys, a violinist still stop the strings, even a wind player can still count on the instrument to respond if they are ill. But a singer’s body is his instrument – an unpredictable one at that. A cold, a tickle, even a stressful day, can turn a singer’s instrument against him. Since even the tone-deaf can sing, the potential exists for there to be enjoyed a more immediate, stronger sense of identification between singer and listener than possible with any other instrument. How moving and human the singer’s lot: as his experience and artistry grows with time, his instrument decays!” -Daron Hagen