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Subject: Fidelio from San Francisc
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 26 Nov 2016 15:32:55 -0500

text/plain (46 lines)

as heard on WQXR today.

It was a wonderful performance, drammatically surpassed only by
the combination of Leonie and Vickers, and vocally only topped by
Christa Ludwig and Vickers, two truly extraordinary combos.

Nina Stemme has never impressed me as much as she did on this
broadcast. The voice can sound very out of control.especially above
the staff, but in this role she had virtually no ungraceful moments. It
is a middle placed role for the most part, and it is no coincidence that
she was most extraordinary where Leonie was most challenged, and
that Leonie thrilled beyond my ability to describe at the very top, where
Stemme was really good, but not great

Brendan Jovanovich was excellent, among the best I've heard, but
let's talk about that "Gott. It sounded like a falsetto when it began,
and as it grew into a very long held forte, it went through a very
unpleasant and unsteady transition. I read wonderful things about it,
but... Maybe it was the miking and it sounded better in the house.

Everyone sang well, and the conducting struck me as superb, with
great consideration shown to the extraordinary vocal difficulties of
"O namenlose Freude". That was, maybe, the best sung I 've ever
heard. I love, love, love the opera!

And speaking of "freiheit" and all that good stuff, one might think,
from the commentary on this list, that Battista was a combination
of St. Francis of Assisi and Abraham Lincoln. Fidel Castro was a
terrible despot who was able to grab power because of another who
preceded him. Nothing exceeds like excess, and that sword cuts
both ways


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