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Subject: Re: SIMON BOCCANEGRA / Irina Arkhipova
From: Robert Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Robert Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:59:24 -0500

text/plain (69 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "SUZANNE TURLEY" <[log in to unmask]>

Warren was my first Boccanegra in SF in the '50's.  He was a galexy unto 
himself. One cannot compare him to anyone. That monumental voice rings in my 
ears to this day. The rest of the cast wasn't too shabby either. Tebaldi, 
Christoff and Turrini.


He was my first Boccanegra, too.  It was at the Met,
it was the premiere of a new production and it was the
last complete performance of Warren's career.  He
died three nights later during a performance of
"La Forza del Destino".

My recollection is that of a truly powerful voice, as
had also been the case earlier in the season when I saw
him several times as Di Luna, mainly because Giulietta
Simnionato was Azucena.  I was impressed by Warren in
both roles, as I was the night he died.  Three great
Verdi assumptions, indeed.

Over the years, I have come to like Warren's vocalism
a lot less than was originally the case.  I find a
very unpleasantly unfocused tone, which, despite
sensational top notes, has been very off putting as
my tastes in singing have evolved.  I'll leave it at
that.  But, I was more than taken with him when I
actually saw him.


Irina Arkhipova was responsible for introducing me to
a great opera, the Maid of Orleans by Tschaikovsky,
in a Russian performance (I think originally released on
Melodyia and definitely released on EMI later.)  She is
beyond stunning in this wonderful role, and the ensembles
are thrillingly realized, especially in the hands of
a voice such as hers. Gennady Rozhdestvensky is
the conductor and you would all do yourselves a great
favor to find it.  Great music, wonderfully performed.

Like Ed, I saw her at Carnegie Hall, though not on the same
evening as he.  Ticket sales were disappointing and before
the recital began those of us in the top two sections were
invited to come down to the parterre level, or to one among
many empty boxes.  She was sensational, and don't ask me
what she sang because I don't remember. :-) It was a long time

To her memory!


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