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Subject: Re: new york and snow..and John Alexander
From: "Kummins, Richard" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kummins, Richard
Date:Tue, 9 Feb 2010 21:18:32 +0000
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Thanks to Maria Nockin for the wonderful story about John Alexander's concern for a colleague who had been stricken. It seems his human qualities were as great as his artistic achievements. In my many years of attending performances at NYCO and the Met I cannot recall a tenor who was as versatile, and sang so many different roles, all with that beautiful voice that so easily filled those halls.

There were some who were disapopointed when he was the leading tenor - in those days so many tenors are today's legends, but I always looked forward to his performances. You knew you were about to get 100% of whatever role he was singing. But even I did not realize that he had sung 379 performances at the Met, and countless others at NYCO and elsewhere. He remains one of the most under-appreciated, underrated, and finest tenors of the 20th century. I recall him vividly in many roles but especially as Paul in DIE TOTE STADT at NYCO (a demanding tenor role where his voice rang out with apparent ease) and Anatol in VANESSA. 

What other tenor has appeared as Lohengrin and 6 days later as Rodolfo? This was 5/17/77 and 5/23/77. His repertoire was enormous - some 37 leading roles, and many supporting roles. Operas as varied as IDOMENEO, DIE FEEN, RINALDO, HOFFMANN, TOSCA, both MANON's and MEISTERSINGER. Fortunately there are many live recordings since, to their great shame, the commercial companies gave him the cold shoulder. Perhaps if his name was Giovanni Alexandri he might have had better luck.

Two other great John Alexander memories - as the Italian Singer in ROSENKAVALIER he wore, if memory serves, an orange striped outfit that was way over the top, but his sound was glorious, and it had to be because he was singing with Della Casa, Schwarzkopf, Rothenberger and Edelmann. His Walther von Stolzing was also a treat, and he was as fresh in the last act as he had been in the first.

A great artist, and if you have not heard his voice, look for some of his many broadcasts, or house recordings. That bright sound and effortless musicianship will not be forgotten.

Regards,

Richard

 
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