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Subject: Re: More on the bi-lingual Tosca at the Wienerstaatsoper
From: Neville Sumpter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Neville Sumpter <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 24 Nov 2008 11:27:07 -0000
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Two famous incidents
1. Tosca at the WNO Cardiff which was to be sung in English but both the 
Scarpia and Cavaradossi went sick. The substitute Cavaradossi Rowland Jones 
knew the role in English and sang it in that language. The sub Scarpia 
Robert Savoie only knew it in Italian and sang in Italian. The soprano Dame 
Joan Hammond knew the role in both languages, sang in English up to the 
arrival of Scarpia in Act 1 when she sang in Italian. Sang the whole of Act 
II in Italian as did the Spoletto David Tree. Reverted to English for the 
last Act !
2. Early days at the ROH after WWII everything was sung in English, of 
course many subsitutes only knew ithe part in the original. There was an 
Aida with the tenor singing in Italian, the mezzo in German and I think the 
Amonasro in French whilst the rest of the cast sang in English!
I saw Aida at the Erkel in Budapest, principals sang in Italian, Messenger 
and chorus in Hungarian !
Neville in England 

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