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Subject: Re: Most Exciting Amneris (was Re: SF Opera "Aida")
From: Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 8 Nov 2016 08:32:53 -0700
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I would like to weigh in. I've seen some great Amneris'. I loved Troyanos in almost everything she did. She was a gorgeous Ebola but Amneris is another thing. She had the same problem as another great beautiful plush sounding mezzo, Olga Borodina. The voice was just a size or two under what you need for Amneris. My votes go to Cossotto, Bumbry, Zajick, D'Intino, Dalis, Dimitrova (a soprano Amneris like Varnay), Verrett, at least some of the ones I've heard. You need a big set of guns, heroics trump subtlety. I never heard Gorr, Simionato or Barbieri in the role. That was before my time. 

Donald 

Sent from my iPad

> On Nov 7, 2016, at 22:02, Evan Gamsu <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Let's not forget Bumbry and Verrett, who both brought sterling vocalism and a nice layer of sexual allure that eluded a number of others.
> 
> Evan G
> 
> 
>> On 11/7/2016 10:57 PM, Premiere Opera wrote:
>> 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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>> 
>> 
> 
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