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Subject: Re: Norma - Canadian Opera Company
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 21 Oct 2016 04:36:19 +0000
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Radvanovsky has been "living" with the role of Norma for several years now, having sung it at the Met several years ago. Though it was never broadcast on a Saturday afternoon, there was a Sirius broadcast of it and I own it, but I'm sure that I will discard it when a new broadcast of it appears because she's far more practiced and infinitely more aware of the musical and dramatic possibilities. She's grown in the role tremendously and I've already got a ticket to see her Norma in Chicago in February of next year. I'm sure she'll be a total knockout. Chicago (and everywhere else) is starved for a great Norma. Callas sang it here twice at the time of her American debut in 1954; then a fourteen year hiatus until Elena Suliotis "attempted" it in 1968 (not with great results, and certainly no Callas); then in 1997 June Anderson undertook it here and the results were so-so. Radvanovsky will be the next Chicago Norma and I'm sure that hers will be in the Callas class. This has been widely anticipated by several years. 
Am not all that thrilled with the production from, I believe, San Francisco, but I'm not going to complain. It's Norma and Radvanovsky and that's enough. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Premiere Opera" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: "OPERA-L" <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:22:36 PM 
Subject: Re: Norma - Canadian Opera Company 

I agree. She is the best Norma I have heard, and I heard both Sutherland 
(without understanding one word) and Caballe many times each. Caballe, 
about 1973 at the Met, was the best Norma I ever heard live, with Cossotto 
also in great form. But Sondra wins big. Speaking for myself I cannot find 
one thing about her Norma that can be done much better. 
It is exactly performances such as her Norma that make one happy that 
he/she love opera so much!!! 

Brava Sondra. Long may you reign!! 

Best wishes, 
Ed 

On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 6:28 AM, 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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-- 

Best, 

Matt @ Premiere Opera 

Shop our entire catalog at www.premiereopera.com. 

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