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Subject: Re: A minute and 36 seconds of Nina Stemme in ‘Tristan und Isolde’
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:21:37 +0000
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I am probably going to catch hell for this, but I have watched the Roberto Deveraux twice and I can't understand the hysteria over Sondra. She may be a great singer, however, I find her voice unappealing especially the louder she sings.  Her very soft singing sounds lovely, but like Caballe, she overdoes the piano singing.  I have seen Stemme on TV and on you tube  and found nothing special about her sound either.  To each his own!


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 1:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] A minute and 36 seconds of Nina Stemme in ‘Tristan und Isolde’

David Kubiak wrote:

"This enthusiasm for Nina Stemme is utterly bizarre to me.  I finally turned
off the radio because I could not bear to hear another note from her.  A
wobble you could drive a truck through and high notes like a tentative
coloratura. She seemed a combination of Gabriella Schnaut and Gwyneth
Jones, with a little Martha Mdl thrown in.  Just dreadful, dreadful, ugly
singing, a technique so poor that it made irrelevant to me anything she
might attempt to do dramatically."

I wouldn't go quite so far, particularly with respect to the slam at Jones
and Modl (at their best, both great singers), but I agree with the general
sentiment.  The enthusiasm for Stemme seems bizarre to me, too.  I heard
Stemme live as Isolde in Houston, and I was underwhelmed by the voice,
which to me is a rather mediocre instrument.  She is a very compelling
stage personality, no question about that, but I do not enjoy listening to
her.  In that regard she is like Behrens (whose voice was a creation of
smoke and mirrors) - exciting to watch, perhaps, but not to listen to.  I find
Stemme's voice unsteady with a lot of wobble, and unattractive in tone.   I
felt that way about her Elektra, which I nonetheless enjoyed because a
dramatically powerful Elektra can make quite an impression with with a
loud but less-than-great voice.

Among dramatic sopranos today, I think Christine Goerke has a much
better voice than Stemme, and she is a fine actress, too, notwithstanding
her generous figure.  I wish that Goerke had been singing Isolde last night
rather than Stemme.

MDW

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