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Subject: Re: Norma - Canadian Opera Company
From: Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:24:17 -0700
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Exactly my feeling when I heard Radvanovsky at the Met.   To me she was definitely the best I ever heard after my first, Joan Sutherland. Better and more accurate than Caballe and on par with Callas in the "total package". I kind of felt that Isabel Leonard, a beautiful and charming singer, might be under gunned in that company.  Thanks for the review. 

Donald. 

Sent from my iPad

> On Oct 20, 2016, at 03:28, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> After seeing her performance of “Norma” in Toronto last Saturday I would
> have to say that Sondra Radvanovsky not only owns this role in the present
> but she has claimed a place in its performance history alongside its
> greatest interpreters.  I’ve seen “Norma” more than any other opera in my
> 40+ post-Callas years of attending live performances – Sutherland and
> Caballe at the vocal pinnacle with several honorable mentions (Verrett and
> Scotto), and many, many “also rans.”  Radvanovsky is in the Sutherland /
> Caballe class when it comes to vocal refulgence and she goes both ladies
> one better in the drama department.  In terms of bringing the “total
> package” to bear, she is in Callas territory.
> She was on form the moment she walked on stage -  the grandeur of
> “Sedizioze Voce” followed by the time stopping poise of “Casta Diva” and
> then the exhilaration of the cabaletta.  Her feel for the architectural
> span of this scene was subliminal in the moment, but something that
> astounds when you reflect on the whole.  She is a “Mastersinger,” though I
> hope she avoids Wagner to dig deeper into the Bel Canto.  I can hear
> Cherubini’s “Medea” in that voice as well as  Bellini’s “La Straniera.”
> Isabel Leonard was a lovely Adalgisa, blending beautifully with Radvanovsky
> in the duets, but when push was required in the duet with Russell Thomas as
> Pollione, she simply disappeared.  Thomas was a thrilling Pollione bringing
> power and nuance to his Act I aria and matching Radvanovsky’s splendor in
> their Act 2 confrontation.  Conductor Stephen Lord was one of the few
> positives when I saw “Norma” at the ENO earlier this year and here as there
> he understood the flexibility needed by the singers to bring their
> characters to life.
> As mentioned, my last “Norma” was the ENO Alden production which played all
> the subtext on top so it was a relief to see Kevin Newbury’s visually
> attractive production (sets - David Korins,)  not fighting the libretto.
> My only objection was watching  Norma and Adalgisa put away the children’s
> toys while singing “Mira O Norma.”  Whatever else Norma may be she is not a
> hausfrau – all the pathos needed for the scene was contained in the
> plaintive voice of Sondra Radvanovsky.
> I have posted a few curtain call shots on Opera L's facebook page for
> anyone interested.
> Steve Charitan
> Hudson, OH
> 
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