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Subject: Re: Camarena-Courtesy of Ed Rosen
From: Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 May 2014 12:28:48 -0700
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Hello all--
 
I saw Camarena in Cenerentola last Friday night and was completely blown away by him; and I was thrilled that he encored the second verse of his cabaletta which I don't think he did on the first Sirius broadcast (somebody please correct me if I just happened to be in the ozone at the time and he really did encore it).  I met a friend for breakfast the following Sunday; even though he lives in Brookyn, his home is very close to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and he generally just attends the HD transmissions there, as opposed to seeing them at the Met, for personal reasons.  He told me that he had been offered a Grand Tier seat for Monday night's Cenerentola but would probably not take it and just watch the HD transmission next week.
 
Now, I normally don't try to convince people to go to things because usually it doesn't have any effect on their decision to go.  However, I was so enthusiastic about Camarena that I encouraged him to go, especially since he had a free ticket being offered to him and even more especially since, to my knowledge, Camarena will not be doing the HD.
 
I listened once more to the Cenerentola on Sirius this past Monday night.  My friend told me afterward that he took my advice and went to it; his reaction to seeing and hearing Camarena was that he was "actually witnessing history."  So I'm glad that I chose to make an exception to my usual policy and spoke up.
 
I don't know about Camarena sounding like Pavarotti.  I think Grigolo in the Bohème with Opolais a few Saturdays ago is closer to the Pavarotti sound (I don't listen for these things so I just notice them if they happen to come up) and, unfortunately, the Pavarotti tendency to add an extra schwa-type syllable to the end of words that end in consonants.
 
Mike Leone
 
[log in to unmask]
Ecco il Leone!
 
P.S.  I really enjoyed the Beatles exhibit at the NYPL.  I was watching Ed Sullivan on Feb. 9, 1964--I think that's the right date--and enjoyed seeing one of the songs from a kinescope of that historic telecast as part of a mini-documentary shown at the exhibit. 

________________________________
 From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: Camarena-Courtesy of Ed Rosen
  

I would wish him a lot more than being the "next" Pavarotti. I'd like to see him remain as slim and as elegant as he is now, and I'd like him to be able to negotiate and sing in other languages than just Italian, and I'd like to see him pursue a musically rich career, which Pavarotti did not. 
I'd like to see Camarena become recognized as a great artist, with musical nuance and intelligence. I hope he never becomes a "media" cash cow and a clown. I hope he remains "grounded" and not to allow himself to get involved with a P.R. man like Breslin, who did Pavarotti no favors whatsoever. The days of the portly Pavarotti are thankfully over. An artist needs a lot more than just a voice these days. 
I find references to Caruso a rather unimportant. Given the severely limited quality of even his best recordings, we must remember that having died in 1921, his recordings give a limited truth to what his voice was. 
Camarena demonstrates a propensity for bel canto. There are never enough of those kinds of tenors. At present, he's got a long way to go before he can catch up with Juan Diego Florez, who (in my humble opinion) stands as the most outstanding exponent of the bel canto repertoire in terms of voice and technique since the dawn of recording. 
No, to refer to Camarena as being another Pavarotti is nebulous at best. He should aim much higher than that. I'm sure I'm going to get some brick-bats for making this post, but it's only my own opinion. Having seen Pavarotti on the stage many, many times, I can emphatically say that while I was impressed with his voice, I was completely turned off by his tonnage, his cancellations, his very limited Italian repertoire, as well as his behavior. Frankly, I enjoyed watching Alfredo Kraus far more. THAT man was an artist. 

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