Friday, May 19, 2006

Developing Character

Had a lesson yesterday. Went very well. Actually, I think my progress may have surprised my voice teacher a little bit. With memorization out of the way, she said I'm now ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of my character.

Characterization often lends itself to the study of dialogue inflection. Adding appropriate inflection is difficult in a foreign language. It's often helpful to consider how you would do so in English and then apply those ideas in Italian. A little easier said than done but coming along, I think. Character, naturally, influences how inflection is placed. Likewise, emotion does too. So there is a lot to consider beyond the Italian itself.

I also have to figure out who I want Barbarina to be. From the perspective of plot, Barbarina is the gardener's teenage daughter and Susanna's cousin. She's in love with Cherubino, the Count's page, who is in love with everything that wears a skirt. (But what else can you expect from a teenage boy?) Barbarina wants nothing more than to marry Cherubino, who is also fond of her when he's not distracted by another girl. Considering myself at Barbarina's age, it's safe to assume that she is naive just as many descriptions have pegged her. She is also cunning, as evidenced by her manipulation of the Count in saving Cherubino from his wrath. She's also a typical, forgetful, flighty teenager as evidenced in several scenes, particularly the one with Figaro. So I think my Barbarina will be a cutesy, flighty, forgetful, naive girl. We'll see how that comes out in each scene.

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