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Subject: Re: Remembering Nicolai Ghiaurov
From: DAN KESSLER <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:DAN KESSLER <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 13 Sep 2009 21:42:47 -0400
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At 11:09 AM 9/13/09 -0700, Jerry Waldman wrote:

>A beloved singer in Paris, (singing a rare role of Massenet's Don 
>Quichotte in 1974)

He also sang it for the Chicago Lyric. Some might rate Massenet's "Don 
Quichotte" as a minor work, but he managed to convince me that it was much 
more.  Of course, he was helped along with a fine cast that included Donald 
Gramm as a memorable Sancho Panza, Lucia Valentini-Terrani a glamorous 
Dulcinée, with Jean Fornet in the pit.

Later exposure to "Don Quichotte" did not match the pathos and sincerity 
Ghiaurov invested in that role...as opposed to other performances that 
included such esteemed artists as Samuel Ramey (NYC Opera & San Francisco) 
, Ruggero Raimondi (Washington) and Jose Van Dam (Opéra Bastille).

Surely Nicolai Ghiaurov is deserving of his rightful place in the pantheon 
of legendary interpreters of "Quichotte" alongside Feodor Chaliapin and 
Vanny Marcoux.

As luck would have it, later on Ghiaurov was my seat mate at the Licieu in 
Barcelona when I witnessed his wife, Mirella Freni as Adriana with Placido 
Domingo as Maurizio.

Although a giant among performers...Nicolai Ghiaurov was a very gentle and 
kind man when I again renewed his acquaintance during a subsequent Met 
intermission.

I feel blessed in having witnessed him in other roles, such as Fiesco, 
Boris Gudonov, Méphistophélés, and Prince Gremin.

Kind regards,
Dan Kessler

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