Jeffery Kennedy and Mike Richter have praised Richard Dyer, of the Boston
Globe, as a critic who is worthy of emulation.
Unfortunately, I remember him best for an appalling hachet job, published in
the New York Times on Sunday, April 29, 1973... and the title was "We love
you Renata, ...but". Since List rules forbid the full reproduction of the
article, I will simply provide you with a few quotes:
"For too much of her career, Tebaldi was content to be a great voice rather
than a great singer, an endearing personality rather than an enduring
artist. She led her followers to worship sound more than sense --- what
could they do when the sound went to rust?"
"...she went beyond the natrual framework of her voice and sang with more
abandon than skill, sacrificing warmth, poise and control for violent
accent, vehement forcing at both extremes of the range, a weighted tone in
"... what happened to Tebaldi is an index to why some people who really care
about the noble traditions of singing and the whole operatic art generally
shun the Metropolitan."
"I don't mean to say that Tebaldi was simply giving the public no better
than what it wanted, for I have never felt that the public actually prefers
vulgarity to taste, exhibitionism to diciplined craft; often it simply can't
tell the difference. There has always been abundant applause for the
excesses of a Tucker or a Corelli, but this didn't put Bjoerling or Bergonzi
or Kraus or Gedda out of business".
Tebaldi had finished her career at the Met, so why did the Times and Dyer
think it appropriate to ridicule and humiliate her? All the news that's fit
to print, indeed! I cancelled my subscription to the Times after this
mean-spirited and malicious attack... and it obviously still galls me.
Rest in peace, dear Tebaldi. May God wipe away all tears...
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