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Subject: Re: Most Exciting Amneris (was Re: SF Opera "Aida")
From: Evan Gamsu <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Evan Gamsu <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 7 Nov 2016 23:02:03 -0600
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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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