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Subject: Re: Villason (now Freni)
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 30 Mar 2009 18:49:55 EDT

text/plain (53 lines)

Hi, Y'all!  
    I must disagree at least partially with Max  here.  Freni was a 
wondrously charming LYRIC soprano.  She was  NEVER an adequate Aida, and with great 
effort became a barely adequate  Elisabetta, if that.  And when she tried to "go 
home again" to more lyric  roles after her misadventures in vonKarajanland, 
her voice was a shadow of the  miracle it had earlier been.   I heard her in 
"Don Carlo" in Salzburg  in 1977, and was simply appalled, both at the steely 
sound her voice had taken  on and at the thought that von K found this sound 
appropriate for the  role.  von K never cared one whit about any singer's voice or 
any  singer's career, so long as he got the sound (and, of course, the 
lighting) he  fancied he wanted for his precious productions.  Ask Ricciarelli, ask  
Carrerras, ask Baltsa.  (He TRIED to ruin Tomowa-Sintow and  Fischer-Dieskau, 
too, but both of them were too smart.)  So being stuck  permanently with the 
new uglier vocal timbre she had created for herself,  Freni figured she might 
as well sing Elisabetta at the Met, too, rather than  admit publicly that 
taking up the role in the first place had been a serious  mistake.  She was lucky: 
 unlike Carreras, she saved her career in the  nick of time. 
    Dennis Ryan
In a message dated 3/30/2009 3:40:22 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

I think  Freni found a way to sing roles like Elisabetta and Aida that  
didn't  suit my ears but saved her voice.

She used a very bright, very forward  placement to put an edge on the  
sound that carried well, but didn't  actually put stress on the cords.   
To me, the sound that  resulted was unpleasantly steely and you could  
hear the difference  immediately when she returned to roles like Mimi  
and used the softer  and darker colors she could afford with  them.

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