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Subject: Re: Most Exciting Amneris (was Re: SF Opera "Aida")
From: Premiere Opera <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Premiere Opera <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 7 Nov 2016 23:57:57 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I saw all the Amneris mezzos you mentioned, Max, and they were all
wonderful!!

But I also saw Giulietta Simionato three times, and she was far and away
the best IMO.

She was a small woman with this huge voice, this beautiful voice, top Bb's
and C's like a soprano, and booming chest voice like a basso.

She had great command of the stage, and was a magnificent actress. For me,
there was only one Simionato, the finest mezzo I have ever seen. I think I
saw her about 10 times, as Azucena, Amneris, Santuzza, and Rosina!

On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 11:44 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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-- 

Best,

Matt @ Premiere Opera

Shop our entire catalog at www.premiereopera.com.

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