Anyone needing to find the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson message on recording
should seek out her performance of Britten's Phaedra, with Kent Nagano. Or
her Idamante on EMI. Or her
BBC recital, including Peter Lieberson's wonderful Rilke Songs.
I try not to talk about active singers I haven't heard in person. Indeed,
Ms. Hunt Lieberson did begin her singing career-having been a superb
violist for many years-in the Boston area, often at Emmanuel Church. Her
performances in Handel's Hercules and Xerxes revealed a grand, large
persona in a slim voice, lovely in its eveness and color. She placed
musicianship first but, especially sang as if it was more important to her
to be part of the total performance, rather than singing in The Lorraine
Show. Nothing was done for the sake of anything but conveying the idea of
the music as it meshed with the ensemble. Not an easy way to make a star
(whatever that means) career. In short, I find her to be a generous artist.
And an artist who moves me deeply.
Larmore I heard as Cenerentola and Rosina at the Met. She was glamorous and
vocally astute in both; delightful as Rosina. She realized that a lot of
Rossini's buffa music is meant not to sound funny but to be funny. The
challenge is to sing with accuracy, pleasing tone, and taste. This she did.
Opera base reports her upcoming engagements to be Adelaide di Borgongna
(ok, ok, I got that title wrong, and let's not have any 'vergogna' jokes)
in Edinburgh this August, and Picker's American Tragedy at the Met.
Operabase has been known to be inaccurate. I don't know why she is not
listed for more. Lucky artists have the kind of careers they want. LHL
chooses to work sing repertoire of interest to her. Larmore might want to
be singing less. Who knows?
And yes, the way to enjoy, really enjoy, never mind evaluate-and good God,
must we always-does no one kvell any more?-is to get your fanny to the
theatre and hear live performances.
In Boston, I heard sterling performances of Handel, Bach, and Verdi over
the years. With big names and people who limit their careers closer to
home. Good for them. Perhaps family and a different life style are
important to them. If I lived in Boston now, I'd seldom be in the house.
That's why God made baby sitters.
I am grateful that Mr. Ciampa has written lovingly of Iride Pilla.
I knew Miss Pilla quite well, and she would give Mr. Ciampa the spanking of
if she thought he was not going out to hear singers, "live".
Greetings to all.
PS I am unknown to both JL and LHL.
Miss Pilla up in heaven is comforting my mother, who would be saying, "Why
'he get a real job!"
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