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Subject: Re: Dimitri Mitropoulos
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 19 Nov 2016 15:04:38 -0500
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Hi Bob and list,

We rarely talk about conductors on this forum, but they give life to these
works (or take it away, e.g., Erede and the likes).

Wonderful to read these memories of the great Mitropoulos. He was a wizard
in the pit, IMO. Besides the Met, he was also a regular guest conductor at
Salzburg and Florence festivals in the late 50s. Luckily these were
recorded and are the glories of live performances caught on tape.

I believe that his studio opera recordings were mostly excerpts though,
done for the Metropolitan Opera Club, and this might explain what Max was
suggesting. He was one of the most imaginative opera conductors, but my
sense is that his heart was even more so in the symphonic and concerto
repertoire. Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto, which he liked to perform as a
conductor and pianist, is said to had been his favorite. He also championed
Mahler, whose live recordings with NYPO are something special to behold.

Whatever the reasons for the rarity of his studio opera recordings, we
thankfully have the taped legacy of his live performances. He died before I
was even born but I so much wish I could have witnessed what you and Don
shared with us. Thank you.

Best, Vesna

On Sat, Nov 19, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Don and list
>
> I was privileged to see Mitropoulos in four truly memorable
> performances at the Met during the 1959-60 season -
>
> Butterfly with Antonietta Stella, who, after Renata Scotto, was the
> greatest Cio Cio San in my experience. She was beautiful to behold,
> moved with extraordinary grace, and sang with a fullness of tone and
> a top register that were breathtaking. The production had been hers a
> year earlier, and they were a near perfect combination.
>
> Cavalleria with Giulietta Simionato. Among my greatest memories!
> She was defining. Bergonzi was Canio that night.
>
> The premiere of Simon Boccanegra, the evening of Leonard Warren's
> last complete performance. He died later in the week during "La Forza
> del Destino" with Tebaldi. Mitropoulos also conducted Boccanegra
> a month larer when Anselmo Colzani made his memorable Met debut in
> the title role.
>
> All were superb, as much for the music from the pit as from the stage.
> Mitropoulos died in Milan before the year was out. To his memory!
>
> Bob
>
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