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Subject: Re: Nelson Eddy, etc. (formerly, OPERA/Lanza/Schmanza}
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 25 Nov 2016 19:48:45 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (116 lines)


Ed Smith (of EJS Records fame) published excerpts of Nelson Eddy singing in San Francisco.  I spoke to him about the same in the 1960s.  Eddy sang under an alias so that no one would know it was he and to avoid attracting attention to himself. The movie makers also did not want Eddy attracting attention to himself as an opera singer.  Ed said Eddy did it to answer criticism (which hurt him deeply) that he was a creature of the microphone and was not able perform on stage.    The management of the San Francisco opera was dubious when he asked to perform (again, his was the impetus), but gave him a one time shot at it.  He was so successful that the management then gave him an open invitation to appear with the company whenever it was mutually convenient to both.  Eddy loved to perform on stage.  That these appearances eventually did not continue was due to the fact that Eddy became such a major film star so that his studio commitments dominated all of his time.


As to Mario Lanza, what has not been pointed out is that  he was a member of the Bel Canto Trio which -- between July of 1947 and May of 1948 -- performed operatic excerpts in 87 concerts.  The other members of the trio were George London and Frances Yeend. Lanza not only held his own in such company, the reports are that he dominated the concerts.


The silliest message in this string is the one in which it was claimed that Josef Schmidt was not an opera singer.  Does anyone know of any other tenor who would INTERPOLATE a high C in "Di quella pira"?  Case closed [ except for any J-A who wants to challenge the foregoing.  :)  ].


In my opinion. the most intelligent message in this string was written by Bob Rideout.  I would modify it slightly by suggesting that the question should not be whether a person should be called an opera singer but whether or not a person can sing opera.  That's the important issue, isn't it?


Best from Boston.

(in didactic mode)

Ray Gouin


***

> 
>     On November 25, 2016 at 6:04 PM Operabobb <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>     Nelson Eddy sang Wolfram in Tannhauser in 1934 and Amonasro in Aida in 1935 at the San Francisco Opera.
> 
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Frey
>     Sent: Friday, November 25, 2016 12:42 PM
>     To: [log in to unmask]
>     Subject: Re: OPERA/Lanza/Schmanza
> 
>     Calling anyone who sings an operatic aria in a movie or on a TV talent show an opera singer belittles those artists who worked long and hard to become a true opera singer, Would you call Lanza, Jane Powell,Jeanette McDonald, Jackie Evancho. Susanna Foster, Nelson Eddy opera singers? I won't and you can't make me. PS I love and enjoy them all but I must be realistic.
>     From: Donald Kane <[log in to unmask]>
>     To: [log in to unmask]
>     Sent: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 13:54:20 -0500 (EST)
>     Subject: Re: OPERA/Lanza/Schmanza
> 
>     Hermine didn't seem to be bashing Lanza paricularly, but she did indulge in one of her typically whimsical irrelevancies by dragging in Rudolf Schmidt and Bette Midler!
> 
>     When I responded to the original question from Miguel di Virgilio concerning Opera magazine's apparent editorial divergence on the status of Lanza and Bocelli as opera singers, I suggested that if they had labeled the former a "not bono-fide opera singer", they might just as well have done the same with the latter. No one has subsequently addressed that issue, but at least one regular poster to the list chose instead to mock Mr. di Virgilio and me because we CORRECTLY accused him of misreading the original letter: just two examples of the seriousness with which some choose to discuss opera-related topics.
> 
>     dtmk
> 
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