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What is your opinion on sung-though musicals? 
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Broadway Legend
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
Maybe it's a point of terminology, then. I've always considered "sung-through" to indicate either no spoken dialogue or minimal occuring during a song.

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Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:14 am
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
For the most part I don't like sung-through musicals. In my opinion, the music should only be there if it's going to help express the story or the characters in some way. Otherwise it loses its impact. What exactly is the point of hearing someone singing about making a sandwich or driving to work? Especially in a movie musical, like Les Miz, it just feels stagey and unnecessary.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:26 pm
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
That's not much of a reason -- it's just a convention of the art form. By the same logic, you could just dismiss all musicals, as why would people start singing in the middle of their life, no matter how emotional they're feeling... and WHERE'S THE MUSIC COMING FROM?

Anyway, you get what I'm saying.

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Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:21 am
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
Not to mention it would be a pretty crap musical if they gave special attention to making a sandwich or driving to work. Sung or spoken, if a moment isn't important then it should be cut. I never noticed anything in Les Mis that sounded like it shouldn't have been sung. It just needs to be pulled off well.

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Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:26 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
I completely agree- if a musical is to be sung through, every single piece of "dialogue" needs to have purpose. There are so many scenes in various shows - The Confrontation in Miss Saigon/Les Miserables, The Trial in JCS, or even Barber and his Wife from Sweeney Todd- that would just not be the same with spoken dialogue. The music adds so much drama and emotion; it becomes the story.


Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:28 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: What is your opinion on sung-though musicals?
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Well, not all operas are sung through (Die Zauberflöte, for example), so I would say that point it moot.

Actually, Die Zauberflöte is not named "opera" but singspiel. It means a musical theatre piece with alternate spoken dialogues and arias.
But you're right, everybody today refers to it as an opera. Just like Carmen, which is not technically an opera, but an "Opéra comique" where dialogues alternate with music.
So I think we could say that a real opera is sung through.

The genres singspiel or opéra comique, and later operettas where supposed to be lighter music, easier to listen to, thanks to the spoken dialogues.

It seems to be the same with musicals. Reading you all, a musical with dialogues is considered easier than a sung through. Time passes, things never change ! ;)

I personally like sung through musicals. As long as the recitatives are good. Same, I like book musicals as long as the transition between songs and dialogue is well written. The Sound of Music has quite bad dialogues, but lots of songs are actual songs in the story. Maria sings with children, they rehearse for the festival, Maria song a song to reassure the children during the storm, etc. Songs are completely mixed naturally in the story.


Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:32 am
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