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Subject: Re: "Ungrateful roles" and why
From: Dennis Ryan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Wed, 7 Dec 2016 19:47:42 -0500
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Hi, Y'all!  
    I fully concur with most of the suggestions so far,  except that Don 
Ottavio gets far FAR too many "shining moments" for that to  be considered an 
ungrateful role.  I don't know how many performances of  "Don Giovanni" I've 
sat through JUST WAITING for 'Il mio tesoro" and dreading  the following 
"Mi tradi" if the wrong lady is singing Donna  Elvira.     
    My nomination is Riccardo in "I Puritani."  He  gets a glorious, 
difficult double aria, that is, alas, not really connected  to much that matters 
in the arc of the drama.  Then he gets totally  discarded until Bellini needs 
him again for the superb duet with Giorgio that  concludes Act II, and that 
is not really very directly connected with the arc of  the drama either.  
He seems such a "by the way" character, there only  because Bellini seemed to 
think that the opera needed a baritone  "principal."   Opera is full of 
"one aria wonders" like the Italian  singer in "Der Rosenkavalier,"  Madelon in 
"Andrea Chenier," and M.  Triquet in "Eugene Onegin."  These are generally 
considered comprimario  roles, albeit IMPORTANT comprimario roles.  Bellini 
comes dangerously  close to shoving poor Riccardo into this category, alas.  
But "I  Puritani" has a truly LOUSY libretto entirely, so maybe considering 
something  like "Bellini's true intentions" in it is not really fair.  
    I especially liked David's nomination of Telramund. 
    Best, 
    Dennis Ryan
 
 
 
 
In a message dated 12/7/2016 11:01:47 A.M. Central Standard Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Wow! I'm  on a different planet, or somethin'.
I think Brangane is a very grateful  role, if you can sing it.
Christa Ludwig and Tatiana Troyanos are only two  who
left indelible marks.

And a great Amonasro will be remembered  for a looooong
time if he can pull off "pensa che un popolo,  vinto,
straziato. Per te soltanto risorger puo". When sung with  the
right tone and intensity, it can be the most memorable moment
in the  opera.

I agree about Telramund, except when Hermann Uhde sang it.
A  performance never to be forgotten! It was frightening. He was
utterly  magnificent.

Bob

On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Maxwell Paley  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'd add three mezzo roles:  Brangäne, Suzuki and Meg Page.
>
> Also, to a degree,  Masetto.
>
> Meg and Masetto have a lot of musically difficult  ensemble work to learn
> but never get to shine.
>
> One  thing with Verdi is that he usually takes care to give each of his
>  principals their moment onstage, either alone or where the focus is  
clearly
> on them.  Meg never gets that nor, for that matter, does  Amonasro.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my  iPhone
>
> > On Dec 6, 2016, at 11:21, David Kubiak  <[log in to unmask]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>  >
> > To me an 'ungrateful role' is one that is very hard to sing,  but you
> still
> > cannot make yourself the evening's star  from it.  I think the classic
> > example of that kind of part  is Telramund.
> >
> > David Kubiak
> >
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