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Matthew Hoch



Oratorio: A Singer’s Guide
Matthew Hoch
Rowman & Littlefiled, 2017

The oratorio repertoire is a gold mine for classical soloists, offering thousands of solo arias, duets, and small ensembles, many of which can be excerpted and synthesized into the singer's concert and audition repertory. Oratorio: A Singer’s Guide is meant to serve as an overview, introduction, and reference index to this vast repertoire. In spite of its importance as a genre, there are surprisingly few published resources on the oratorio, and—presently—none are geared toward singers and voice teachers. While there are several such books in existence for conductors, these are broader in scope and address the choral repertory as a whole as opposed to the oratorio in particular. Oratorio: A Singer's Guide will be the first book of its kind for the singer seeking to expand his or her knowledge of the oratorio repertoire or research individal roles or arias.

The book is designed to serve as an introducion to the essential canon of the oratorio repertory from the early baroque era to the present day, and there will be particular emphasis on the solo roles and arias within each selected work. Categorized by stylistic epochs (beginning with the baroque era and the rise of orchestrally accompanied vocal music), regions, and languages, the book will serve two functions: (1) it will provide a chronological/historical narrative of the history of he genre and its most essential works; and (2) it will serve as a reference guide for the singer and voice teacher, allowing them to view over 300 works and 1000 roles "at a glance," detailing the voice types, ranges, tessituras, and difficulty level of each and every aria within a selected work. The book will also assess which arias can be excerpted from larger roles for concert and audition settings, with considerations for whether the excerpt can feasibly be performed in piano reduction and without the presence of a chorus. Brief plot summaries for narrative oratorios will also be provided.

Oratorio: A Singer's Guide will fill a major gap in the literature and will become an essential resource in the library of any professional singer, student of singing, singing teacher, or vocal music enthusiast.



© 2016 Matthew Hoch