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Interview with Met Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo
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How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

 

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

"It's important that there's absolutely no compromise on your vocal strength or sheen in the voice by the time you get to the performance in the evening," Palumbo tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Everyone has to be at their peak vocal condition as late as midnight for each performance of Meistersinger, which is how long they usually run," he says. The Met performed Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in December.

Palumbo is responsible for rehearsing and conducting some of the best singers in the world. He's renowned for his ability to blend the voices of the singers in the chorus.

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