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Subject: Re: Katia Ricciarelli
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:00:09 -0700
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I agree that she declined early but I don't blame Karajan.  She never sang Aida with him and only did Turandot for the studio recording (which was supposed to be the soundtrack of a movie that was never made).  In short, she just didn't end up singing all that much with him.

Karajan wanted her to do Norma, which she refused at the time, but then took it on of her own later on.

There was already a sad drop in quality between the really exceptional "Ballo" Amelia I saw her do in San Francisco in 1977 and her studio recording under Abbado not that long after.

I don't think it was roles, per se.  I think something else was going on with her physically or emotionally (or both).

Turandot was nuts (although I doubt anyone ever wrecked their voice performing a role for only one studio recording), but her voice had the size and "cut" to it that, in good shape, should have been able to do Aida.

When not clouded or occluded, it was an exceptionally lovely voice.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Sep 30, 2016, at 12:39, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Others will disagree but I believe she is one of the sopranos destroyed by
> von Karajan. In the 80's he pushed her (and she accepted) roles that were
> really too much for her voice, such as Turandot and Aida. She truly excelled
> earlier in her career in lighter roles, and had she taken things more slowly
> (or avoided some of the more challenging parts) would likely have had a much
> longer career. It's sad, for she was superb early on. 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Kubiak
> Sent: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:32 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Katia Ricciarelli
> 
> The career of Katia Ricciarelli is one I never paid much attention to, but I
> stumbled on some YouTube clips of a London "Luisa Miller" from 1979.  As my
> students would say, her singing there is "like seriously good" -- to me the
> basic sound of the voice is more beautiful than Caballé's.  Hearing her at
> the time I would have predicted she would mature into a splendid Norma. 
> What on earth happened?  Was it a case of di Stefano-like self-destruction,
> or singing with a natural gift that just gave out at a certain point?  Aside
> from di Stefano I can hardly think of a singer who sounded so good and then
> so bad.
> 
> Thanks for any insight.
> 
> David Kubiak
> -
> 
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