Latest news, September 2019
A couple of milestones reached recently: the completion of 'Le nozze di Figaro' (all solo roles, anyway), and the addition of the longest role I know of, Hans Sachs in 'Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg'. There are now over 370 roles available here (including at least 8 operas from which every solo role is available) and more are in the works.
Frankly, the easiest way to find a role is simply to search by name of role, opera or composer (all role titles include all three). Look for the magnifying glass icon at the top of the screen. However, please note two important things:
Search does not work with partial words, so 'Suzu' will not find Suzuki.
Letters with diacritics need to be entered exactly: 'Walkure' will not find Walküre. Fortunately not many role names have such annoyances. Offhand I can only think of Brünnhilde and, now I've typed it there, you can copy and paste it if you can't remember how to type ü on your device.
This limitation seems to be a Shopify thing and I can't think of a sensible and straightforward way of bypassing it just now.
Of course browsing the site is also possible, for example using the collections below.
Please note: you only get two goes at downloading a file once you've bought it. Make sure you save the file somewhere you can find it! If problems occur due to interrupted downloads or something, just drop me a line and we'll work something out.
About these recordings
All the recordings have been made with decent audio recording gear (usually an all-in-one recorder similar to the popular Zoom range) and have been carefully edited to remove mistakes, fumbled page-turns and other interruptions. I'm quite prepared to believe the odd mistake remains and am always happy to be told of these. For greatest compatibility, they have all been encoded as MP3 files, using high quality settings.
Please note that these are intended as assistance tracks for professional and competent amateur musicians and assume basic fluency in score reading and relevant languages.
Starting points for each section are announced by me, using rehearsal numbers if these are generally available in the usual scores, or page numbers if the work is in copyright and only one edition exists, or else the usual kind of pointers: 'four bars before the next entry' or 'the orchestral allegro' or something like that. Most of the longer roles are divided into separate tracks per act, in which case the download is a ZIP file which can be opened using any of the usual apps for that sort of thing.
Speeds: most sections are taken at roughly 'the usual' speed, but anything fast is slowed down somewhat for clarity. If in any doubt refer to performances on YouTube! (etc...) In recitatives, I play a fairly close approximation to written rhythms most of the time, again for clarity, and put in the most obvious appoggiature.
Pricing: all tracks are based on £25 per hour of finished recording, rounded to the nearest whole £ sterling. However there is a minimum charge of £10 (except in the case of some really short roles). If you want to buy multiple small roles within one opera, contact me for a discount. Some common role pairings (e.g. Bartolo and Antonio, often sung by one singer) are already available as a discounted package.
Roles in translation: I don't usually upload these unless a particular translation is practically standard (e.g. 'The Cunning Little Vixen' in English). In such cases the main difference is in the cues I give, but there may be minor differences in rhythm here and there. Any roles in translation are clearly labelled as such. If you want a recording done for a translation, get in touch.
Similarly, if you want just part of a role (one act or an aria, for instance) do ask.
If the recording you want isn't here, or you have any other reason to contact me, email:
recordingrescue (at) gmail.com
Yes, sorry, not a clickable link but we've all got better things to do than dealing with spam emails from robots. Commissioned recordings are the same price, length for length, as those already made, but of course you'll have to wait. Ask and I'll do my best to give an accurate idea of delivery schedule.
Accompaniment-only recordings (no vocal line): obviously I can do these too and in fact have a few saved. If there proves to be enough interest I'll upload them here too. Do feel free to ask...
I have also done a fair number of oratorio learning tracks, and some orchestral songs. I've uploaded most of these, but do ask if there's something you're after.
PLEASE NOTE: all recordings must be downloaded and saved. You can't stream them off this site!
I wrote all the above and then realised that I had never said who 'I' am. Richard Black, repetiteur, coach and accompanist, at your service. Look me up on pianoaccompanists.com or on Facebook, where I'm sure we'll have mutual friends.
Just to give an idea of the sort of thing you'll be getting if you purchase one of these tracks, I have put a short example on YouTube: