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Subject: Re: Merrill
From: Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 2 Dec 2016 15:57:45 -0700
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Right on almost all counts. Traubel was actually 54 when she left the Met. The voice was still gorgeous but the top was gone. She basically put up enough flack to end her relationship with the Met. It was the only voice of comparable magnificence to Flagstad. That being said, I am not sure she was really interested in continuing at the Met. In those days star sopranos rarely sang down. They retired when they could no longer do justice to tier rep. In Traubels case she was first offered a Met contract ca 1926 and being somewhat insecure at the time, didn't think she was ready. Had she been at the Met she would probably have been Leiders replacement. Who knows, Flagstad might have never arrived and would have sung out her career in Scandinavian obscurity. If Milanov had accepted Zenatello's offer to sing Gioconda in Verona in 1947 we might never have known Maria Callas. Life is strange and careers even more so. 

Aaron Slick from Pumpkin Creek. Really! 

Donald 

Sent from my iPad

> On Dec 2, 2016, at 14:44, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 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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