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Subject: Re: "Ungrateful roles" and why
From: David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Dec 2016 02:42:23 +0000

text/plain (33 lines)

Hi Maxwell. 

I'm confused. Was Bella Paalen an alternate for creating the Amme? AFAIK the part was created by former dramatic soprano Lucie Weidt (a Met Bruennhilde and Elisabeth 1910-11).
An ungrateful role on the order of Freia, and in my view influenced by her role/music, is Emma in KHOVANSHCHINA. Andrej Khovansky is also a complete jerk with nary a memorable phrase.
That's in contrast to some of Musorgsky's shorter leads in the work: Prince Golitsyn and Shaklovity can totally grab the show away from Marfa, Dosifei and Ivan Khovansky- as Shuisky can dominate BORIS GODUNOV when someone like Wieslaw Ochman sings it. Two of the most sympathetic and beautiful roles in BORIS are very short indeed: Ksenia (a/k/a/ Xenia) and Schelkalov (and there Musorgsky may be channeling the LOHENGRIN Herald.
Best - David Shengold

Date:    Sat, 3 Dec 2016 14:29:07 -0800
From:    Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: "Ungrateful roles" and why

 During a rehearsal of the Nurse=E2=80=99s =
last outburst for the world premier, Bella Paalen, the mezzo/contralto =
singing the Amme, asked Strauss if he had arranged the score purposely =
in such a way that she would have to scream herself to death and all but =
ruin her voice.  Strauss laughed =E2=80=9COf course.  That was precisely =
my intention.  


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