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Subject: Caution with EBAY/Callas Philedelphia
From: Marco Schmid <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 2 Apr 2001 09:45:34 EDT
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Dear Listers,

I would like to caution all listers with EBAY and La Scala Autographs. I bid
on a Rosa Ponselle signed photo which was listed as 19,99 opening bid. I was
watching it a few days and it went up to 56$ so on Saturday afternoon I
decided to register with EBAY and raised the bid to 57$. All was clear to me
and my name appeared as the new top bidder for 57$. I figured if I get it for
that fine but I wasn't really interested in paying more for an unframed photo
over the internet. I was amazed that I got a confirmation from EBAY saying
that my bid was placed at 57$ and that they would bit for me until 5700$.
Immediately I sent them an email back (after having tried to find a phone
number to call) saying that there must be some mistake and that the 57$ bid
was correct but that I had no intention of paying a penny more than that
(except for the shipping costs). No response back from EBAY. Now I get back
home after Matthias Goerne on Sunday and find an email from La Scala
Autographs saying I had successfully bidded on the Ponselle and the amount
was 432,70. Immediately I sent an email to La Scala Autographs saying that
there must be some mistake and that I bid 57$ and if I indeed got it to that
price I would be more than willing to give them my Amex number etc. I got the
nastiest email back from them saying I owed them the full amount etc and that
I needed to pay. I forwarded them a copy of my response to EBAY and then got
another very nasty letter saying that I could no longer bid on any of their
items (like who would want to after an episode like this anyway). I then told
them if they wished to further pursue the matter I would give it to my
counsel. So all opera listers beware when dealing with La Scala Autographs
and also when bidding on EBAY.

Now to Philedelphia. I must say that like Dennis and Charlie, I also adore
Callas, have since I was 9 and always will. I also dont like Verismo. Never
have and never will and find Gioconda and all those opera's pretty dull.
Again this is my taste and I just dont find anything of any beauty in them.
There are of course exciting moments here and there but not enough to want
and make sit through a whole evening. And yes of course I have the Callas,
Milanov, Tebaldi, Arangi Lombardi, Cerquetti, Farrell, Caballe, Rysanek and
Gencer recordings so I have tried to find my way to this music. I love some
of the singing in the 4th Act but it is too late and too little for my taste.
I have the same problem with Chenier and La Wally and all the rest of the
verismo. Perhaps it is something with our DNA who knows. I adore Bellini for
example and also find much of Verdi very beautiful. Now I never found that
scene anything less than moving because of Callas' poignancy and the way she
touches the heart with this piece. Also I like Tom Hanks and think he did a
wonderful job with the movie and I find him to be a great actor. Yes of
course the Hollywood studios made a ton of money off of this movie but I also
believe that it made a lot of people aware of what was going on who perhaps
had no clue up until then. And I am not talking about Opera Lers or New
Yorkers but people in middle America in Ohio and Wyoming and places where the
rabbit and fox say goodnight to each other. After this big Hollywood movie
with big names in it they knew that this was a disease that was effecting a
lot of people and some perhaps who they might know. Look what the late
Princess of Wales did when she touched and embraced an Aids patient. She made
a statement and she wanted to make it. I have many friends who are no longer
with us because of this epidemic and I will never forget visiting one in the
hospital every day for the last 2 months bringing him CD's and tapes to
listen to and watch. I would sit in that hospital seeing all the people
around me and it was very depressing. But it was a fact of life now and is.
We cannot just try to brush it aside and pretend it wasnt happening or is
happening. Yes I am sure that there are some of you out there who perhaps
know no one who has the disease or has passed away but I cannot imagine that
there are many people left who remain totally uninfected by it. Of course it
is more treatable now than it was 5 and 10 years ago and some people are
doing just fine now on the cocktail but there are those who are still dying
and very sick and who cannot tolerate the drugs or are immune to them. Of
course things could have been better done in Philedelphia but I think it was
a major step for a big studio to take on this and also my hats off to Tom
Hanks for playing a gay man who has aids.

Oh and Dennis I agree with you completely on Sutherland. Always bored me to
death to. No drama, mushy diction and sounds like she has a mouth full of
marbles when singing. I think that like that man in Opera News recently said
there are artists and there are singers. You can also count Callas (as he
does too ) in that first catergory and Sutherland in the second. And here I
do believe that there is a thread since most of my favorites I would but in
the first category (Schwarzkopf, Lehmann, Muzio, Leider are just a few who
come to mind) and then there are many, many great singers. Was anyone ever
thought about that most people are either in the one camp or the other? I
mean most of the people who I know either like the group per say or dont. You
see this whole group was more than just a pretty voice but were people who
gave all their soul and heart when sining and who actually LIVED to sing
opera. Not the mere get up and sing and get your money type like a Kiri etc.
I also agree with the statement made earlier about I would rather have a
singer have 10 great years (like a Callas) than one who had 30 good to
mediocre years (and here we have so many that would fit that bill, Sutherland
and te Kanawa are just two that come to mind).

Best to all,

Marco Schmid
listening to Ponselle on the air volume 2

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