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Subject: Re: Merrill
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Dec 2016 16:44:48 -0500
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I am fascinated at the Renata Tebaldi comments. I have never heard
that she was generally undependable. I know of one instance when
she did not honor her commitment, and that was in 1960 when she
failed to show for the premiere of a new production of Simon
Boccanegra, Leonard Warren's last complete opera performance as
it turned out. Mary Curtis Verna replaced her, but she sang
all of her other scheduled performances of Boccanegra, Forza
(including the night Warren died) and Andrea Chenier.

Her absence from late 63 to late 64 was essentially forced upon her
by the Met, when she and Solti confronted her serious vocal crisis
during rehearsals for a new production of Otello.

I know of no other deviations from her contractual obligations, and
would appreciate any information that I may be missing. She cancelled
everything everywhere after her Mother's death, but Mothers only die
once, and they were extremely close. I doubt that Bing or anyone else
thought it anything out of the ordinary.

Bob

On Friday, December 2, 2016, Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]
<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml',[log in to unmask]);>> wrote:

> The timeline here is a bit off.  Merrill was in Bing's good graces for the
> DON CARLO opening - which was long before the film.  He sang Bing's 1st
> season up until he announced that due to contractual obligations, he
> couldn't do the Spring Tour in 1951 - that's when Bing decided to make an
> example of him, and what cost Merrill almost a year and a half of his prime
> career.
>
> It's ironic that Bing later allowed Tebaldi to steamroll over him at almost
> every turn, but her health often wasn't the best, and her mother's death
> and
> several years later, her own vocal problems didn't help as Bing struggled
> to
> hold her to her scheduled performances.  But of course, she was a
> guaranteed
> sold out house every time she appeared, and he needed her far more than he
> needed Merrill.
>
> I don't believe Bing fired Traubel, though the poster is quite correct that
> he found her Las Vegas and television appearances distasteful.  She sang
> the
> Ring and Rosenkavalier during his first season - it wasn't a holdover
> contract from Johnson.  I think she just probably didn't want to continue
> and saw the writing on the wall as to his lack of enthusiasm for Wagner.
> She was 52-ish at the time and it was a well timed exit, I think.
>
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