The Best Classical Music Documentary Films Episode 8

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What Makes a Great Tenor? Documentary
Placido Domingo erhielt sein BAMBI von Rolando...
Placido Domingo and Rolando Villazon
(Photo credit: BAMBI 2010)

The tenor Rolando Villazon takes us inside the world of the sexiest and most risky of all operatic voices. It's a journey which includes some of the great names of the past, such as Pavarotti, Caruso and Lanza, and some of the brightest stars performing today; including Domingo, Alagna and Florez. We hear how they tackle their most famous roles and what the risks and rewards are.

What Makes a Great Soprano? Documentary
Kiri Te Kanawa
 Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa takes a personal journey exploring the physical and artistic demands of being an international soprano in the 21st century. Filmed on location in New Zealand and New York, w
e glimpse the many different stresses and rewards of her working life, from visiting a throat specialist for checks on the vocal cords to taking a masterclass at the Metropolitan Opera.

Along with fellow sopranos including Renée Fleming, Diana Damrau and Anna Netrebko, she explains the qualities that separate the great from the merely good. The programme also features a selection of Dame Kiri's own favourite performances of the past, from the early recordings of Dame Nellie Melba to the famous voices of Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Kirsten Flagstad, Leontyne Price and Dame Joan Sutherland. Dame Kiri explains what makes each of these voices unique, revealing the extraordinary diversity that lies behind the simple label 'soprano'.