It is effective to set a narrative trajectory of a concert programme. This means that the audience is taken on a journey, just like in an opera, but the narrative is made up of arias conveying different emotions, rather than a narrative story of an opera. It is then possible to select arias which convey different emotions.
As well as the dramatic content of each aria, and how it fits into the narrative of the concert programme, other elements would need to be considered. Many of these were mentioned in the Singing Teachers’ Survey, such as ensuring that the arias chosen fit the singer’s current technical ability. Also, it is sensible to avoid putting too many big dramatic arias, or ones containing lots of coloratura next to each other, and they will tire the singer physically, and arguably, the audience emotionally as well.
Suggested programme themes
‘A journey through opera’
This would take the audience on a historical journey through the innovations of opera, perhaps from Baroque da capo arias to contemporary repertoire. The different stylistic fashions and innovations could be explained and exemplified through repertoire from each period.
‘Exploration of opera characters in detail’
This would give the singer the opportunity to learn all the arias of a character, and the audience the chance to get to know a character well. Any changes in the character’s emotional state through the opera would be explained and demonstrated.