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Subject: Re: the "Assoluta"
From: Mark Hite <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mark Hite <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 23 Oct 2011 13:06:38 -0400

text/plain (25 lines)

/witness CaballÚ's rather uneven recording of Lucia/

Does it have to be specifically Lucia? What about singing both Norma and 
A´da, as CaballÚ did very well?

On 23-Oct-11 9:16 AM, Brad S. wrote:
> I was trying to think of sopranos for whom recordings exist that could fit under the "soprano assoluta" category. It's similar to the term "soprano drammatica d'agilitÓ" but even more specific and rare. Without going into great detail to define it, a quick rule of thumb is that an "assoluta" could sing both Lucia di Lammermoor and Aida with great success. For example, although versatile singers like CaballÚ and Ponselle would each qualify as a "soprano drammatica d'agilitÓ," neither could be said to be an "assoluta" because stratospheric roles like Lucia wouldn't show their tremendous talents at their best, as witness CaballÚ's rather uneven recording of Lucia. With that as the barometer, I can really only come up with four names of geniune assolutas--Callas, Gencer, Zeani, and Sutherland. The Wagnerian belcantist Lilli Lehmann, who at a very advanced age recorded everything from the Liebestod to a stratospheric coloratura showpiece like "O beau pays", probably brings us up to five. I guess Cheryl Studer wanted to be an assoluta, but was she? (I haven't heard her Aida.) Who else am I forgetting?
> Ciao for now!
> Brad

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