Comparisons are odious and unnecessary in the matter
of Lorraine Hunt and Ms Larmore, and I might add they
mean nothing. The two women are several leagues apart.
Lorraine Hunt is a fine musician and superior singer;
she turns down most opera offers and very carefully
selects what she does, and she does it well. If not a
Olga Boradina voice (who is?), it is a fine instrument
used with great artistry. She started her vocal career
late (about 30) and clearly she's conserving herself and
singing what really counts. I worry just now about her
continuing illness, and hope for a strong recovery.
In my experience with Larmore, she is none of the
above. A routine, sometimes less, singer - what we used
to call a "commercial artist," her vocal quality is mediocre
but she had some coloratura facility and for a while a good
high B-natural. I am not sure how much of that is left. Two
years ago I heard her, a recital in Santa Fe during the winter,
and she was an embarassment, paid $14,000 for 75-
minutes of very little; she wore a pony tail hairstyle and an
unadored dark blue dress to the knees which did not favor
her at all. So, why compare the fleet Mercedes of Hunt to
the muddy Ford of Larmore? I would not. To give the devil
her due, last June I heard at Paris Bastille Larmore sing the
Berlioz Marguerite and she was acceptable. Pleasant
surprise as were Ramey and Groves in their roles --
Americans at Paris Opera, and it worked!
Bruno Landi! I had not thought of in years, but as a
college boy about early 1950s I heard him sang Nemorino
with the Hartford, CT, opera -- an evening I recall vividly
(I reviewed it for the college paper). He was a tenorino,
and a good one. A smoother tone than Florez, not as high,
but agreeable; but by then his career was late on.
The Adina, a newcomer named Peters, entered stage
on Landi's applause after his first number -- one does NOT
enter stage or move on another singer's applause - never! Bruno
was unaware as he did not see her, and the audience roared
with laughter as Peters winced and minced back off stage. Landi
had a moment of panic as he could not understand the laughter while
he was taking old-style rather elaborate bows. Best thing of the evening!
I would love to hear his recordings, esp. on LP. His prime time was
the 1930s into 40s, if memory serves.
jim / santa fe
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