Posted 12 March 2003 - 09:52 AM
By the way, I have a question about Rossini's L'Assedio di Corinto: is the (male) character Neocle usually sung by a woman? I have a cd on which it is sung by Marilyn Horne, which seemed a little odd, but if that's how Rossini wrote it...
Posted 12 March 2003 - 10:25 AM
In the modern era Neocle has been largely the province of mezzos, I believe. (Shirley Verrett sang it with Sills at the Met, if memory serves.)
Posted 12 March 2003 - 10:45 AM
No, not the HBO series. Thsi is the continuation of the Ballet Audience Decline/Famous Operatic Sopranos thread under Issues in Ballet. Ed Waffle commented on some of the weaknesses of certain singers, which was interesting, especially concerning Swenson and Gruberova--Ed, you wrote that Ruth Ann Swenson can't sing coloratura passages while Edita Gruberova can sing nothing but.
The post which you are accurately paraphrasing was very badly written by me. What I meant to point out in those passages was how, if one wanted to, one can find something wrong with every singer. It isn't a reflection of my own thoughts. I would much rather ignore what I don't like about a singer (unless it is just too glaring) and take joy in the wonderful sounds they produce.
I have heard Swenson in the theater in "Manon" and "La Traviata" and while she is no Gruberova in the coloratura department (Gruberova is like a force of nature in those roles) she is quite good.
Sorry for the mix up which is due entirely to my clumsy phrasing.
More later on the Rossini recording with Horne, probably in a private message.
Posted 12 March 2003 - 11:31 AM
"Many fans didn't care for the popular Bubbles persona, either. Too wholesome. Too pop."
Too low class,according to Sir Rudolf Bing. How else is one to interpret this idiotic passage of noblesse oblige in his memoir 5000 Nights at the Opera, about the relationship between the Met and New York City Opera --
"There was a brief fight a while back about Donizetti's three queens, which was a project Montserrat Caballe very much wanted to undertake for us; but we finally accepted the fact that
Beverly Sills of the City Opera, having been born in Brooklyn, was entitled to priority in the portrayal of British royalty."
He sounds like he was still miffed about the fiasco of the Met's opening night in the new house at Lincoln Center, when the grandiose shipwreck of the Franco Zeffirelli production sank poor Samuel Barber's Antony & Cleopatra. At the same time, Brooklyn's Own was singing Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare at the State Theater, opposite the great Norman Treigle. It was the music critics from across America, who'd ventured across Lincoln Center Plaza,who made Sills a star. She had already had a long and distinguished career at that point, starting with The Ballad of Baby Doe, and it went on for many more years. By the time she was admitted to the snooty precincts of the Met, her best singing was behind her. Bing was to blame for that.
Posted 12 March 2003 - 12:15 PM
Posted 12 March 2003 - 08:07 PM
By the way, I love Gruberova's voice. It's so rich and 'big,' but so controlled, and I never have the feeling she's straining for a note.
Re: Sills, I like her wholesome persona. She doesn't (didn't?) put on any airs or have huge tantrums like other stars; she just sang beautifully, and it was enough to just be herself. I sometimes wonder if the tantrum divas don't actually suffer from low self-esteem.
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