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Subject: Most Exciting Amneris (was Re: SF Opera "Aida")
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Mon, 7 Nov 2016 23:44:55 -0500
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Maxwell Paley wrote:

"The big war was over which Amneris.  Those who loved Cossotto thought Troyanos was too 
small a voice and miscast.  Those who loved Troyanos found Cossotto unnecessarily loud, 
harsh and edged.  I admired Cossotto’s output of sound and emotion, but I ultimately was 
much more involved and moved by Troyanos."

I heard Cossotto and Troyanos both as Amneris at the Met.  Both were great - Cossotto had 
the bigger sound, although Troyanos certainly had no trouble being heard.  But the most 
exciting Amneris I ever saw was Elena Obratsova whom I heard in her Met debut 
performance in October 1976.  She just blew the house down in the Judgment Scene, and 
the place went nuts.  I have never liked Obraztsova since that performance - a combination 
of her crude singing and her KGB informant activities - but that night she was sensational.

Another fine Amneris was Stefania Toczyska.  And, of course, Zajick, whom I heard in the 
Aida second cast for the opening of the Wortham Center in Houston in 1986.  (Tocyzska was 
the first cast Amneris.)  I will never forget the impact when Zajick, a complete unknown to 
me (at that point, to everyone), opened her mouth at "Qual insolita gioia."  My jaw 
dropped.  I was so impressed that I flew up to New York for her Met debut as Azucena the 
following season.  

The Amneris I really wish I had heard was Rita Gorr.  But she was a bit before my time.  

MDW

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