Compare: Baritone gegen Tenöre

Baritones and tenors of the Komische Oper in Berlin discuss in the following video the difference between a bariton and a tenor. As we might expect they do not always have the same opinion which – in its nature – is already a difference.

Statement 1 …
starts with an exasparation. “Tja” is an interjection that expresses helplessness (tja = big question, I don’t know) or in other contexts fatalism (tja = it is as it is).
Der Unterschied = the difference

Statement 2 …
die Stimmhöhe = the scale of the voice
die Gesangsstimme = the singing voice

bewegen = to move

Statement 3 …
is about a position on the stage:
vorne, in der Mitte

Statement 4 …
is an aphorism (by a bariton).
der Bariton, plural: die Baritöne
Die Baritöne halten im Leben, was der Tenor auf der Bühne verspricht.
It is about promise. The verb is versprechen. (noun = das Versprechen)
Ich verspreche. Du versprichst. Er, der Tenor verspricht. Wo? Auf der Bühne.

What do the bariton singers do? They keep the promise. Die Baritöne halten (das Versprechen). Wo? Im Leben. Was? What the tenor promises. Where? On stage.
The bariton singers keep in life what the tenors promise on stage.

Statement 5 …
is a counter argument (by a tenor).
der Tenor, plural: die Tenöre.
Die Tenöre sind die wahren Könner.
wahr = true
the verb “können” means “can, to be able.” Therefore “der Könner, die Könnerin, plural: die Könner” are experts and masters.

Statement 6 …
die Lebenseinstellung = attitude towards life
die Art = the way of …
die Art + zu + infinitive = die Art zu sprechen, sich auf der Bühne zu bewegen

Statement 7 …
der Ohrwurm (plural: die Ohrwürmer) = a song or a melody that stucks in our head for days
erkennen (participle: erkannt) = to realize
Warum kennen wir die schönen Melodien? Weil die Komponisten erkannt haben, dass wir Tenöre das größere Herz haben.
Comparative: groß > größer. Das Herz der Tenöre ist größer als das Herz der Baritöne.

Statement 8 …
Wir sind meistens Prinzen (plural of Prinz).

Statement 9 …
gelten = to be considered as …

Diva, plural: Diven. Zicke (nanny goat), plural Zicken.
The equivalent of ca
lling a person “Zicke” in German is calling a person a bitch in English.
Wir gelten als Diven und Zicken, manchmal.

Statement 10 …
Helden. Wir müssen manchmal heroisch sein.

Statement 11 …
sensibel = sensitive, der Schal = scarf

Statement 12 …
schonen = here: to treat with care
Tenöre müssen immer ihre Stimm
e schonen.

Statement 13 …
das Exemplar = here: species, type of singer
sich darstellen = to portray oneself

Statement 14 …
der Witz = the joke
Lieblings + noun = favorate + noun

Statement 15 …
Es gibt keine Witze über Baritöne.

Statement 16 …
is another aphorism (by a tenor).
brauchen = to need
fehlen = lack of
adverbs: oben = above, unten = below
Ein Bariton braucht oben, was ihm unten fehlt.
An ambiguous statement. We can assume the tenor refers to alleged deficiencies of certain body parts. When he speaks of “unten” he does not mean the knees. (You get the picture?)

Statement 17 …
Unten kein Ton, oben kein Ton. Bariton.

Statement 18 …
“Ich meine natürlich nur musikalisch,” the tenor says before he gets into trouble.

Statement 19 …
die Stimmlage = pitch of the voice
“Da ist die Stimmlage erotischer, da passt alles viel besser.”

Statement 20 …
drehen = (here) to screw, to turn
die Glühbirne = light bulb
er stellt sich hin = he just stands there
die Erde = earth
denn = weil = because
um = around

Statement 21 …
Wie sehe ich aus?

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Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

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