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Subject: Re: Pablo Elvira, who never breathed (audio)
From: "Brad S." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Brad S.
Date:Tue, 8 Sep 2009 08:37:46 +0000

text/plain (61 lines)

Make that 5 of us.

Elvira might just be my favorite baritone of the post-Taddei/MacNeil generation. (i.e., the generation of Milnes, Quilico, Nucci, and Bruson, no offense to these very accomplished artists. But then I hear certain recordings of Cappuccilli and think, no, it's a tie.) Some here have said they didn't find Elvira's voice big enough to suit their tastes, but I usually give greater weight to beauty of tone, phrasing, and line than to the sheer decibels a singer can produce, exciting as that is. In Elvira's case, it seems that bel canto operas were always central to his rep and that even though he made frequent forays into Verdi and verismo he didn't overpart himself by singing heavy-duty rep exclusively and unrelentingly.  I read somewhere that Domingo once said that Elvira was "by far the best baritone in the world."

My favorite Elvira story: "Once at the end of 'Trovatore,' Elvira joined the mezzo-soprano in hitting a unison B-flat. Her name was Ruby Jones, a big lady who took no crap from anyone. She whispered to him, onstage, as the audience went nuts, 'You dirty motherf*/&er, don't you EVER do that again!" (I can't verify whether the story's true because it's quoted from an unknown source, but if it isn't it sure ought to be!)

Thanks to Dominic for the sound clips of Elvira's Macbeth! There are also some good clips of Elvira on youtube in Donizetti and Rossini:

"La pietade" from Lucia:

"Come Paride vezzoso" from Elisir:

"Largo al factotum":

From these same operas you can see how he holds his own with some much better-known artists...

...from Joan Sutherland:

to Carlo Bergonzi (65 years old at the time but still in fine form):

to Cecilia Bartoli:

to Beverly Sills:

And as a bonus here he is as Silvio from Pagliacci (with a nice A-natural):

From: Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 7, 2009 8:57:15 PM
Subject: Re: Pablo Elvira, who never breathed (audio)

4 of us.
His performance in "L'amore dei tre re" is superb.

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