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Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR 2016
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 21 Dec 2016 02:40:36 +0000
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Steve: 
I LOVE all the ways in which some posters refer to Zinka Milanov. In fact, I find it amusing that she evokes so much controversy NOW. My late father absolutely loved her, as did so many others of his generation. I was raised on her Trovatore and Aida recordings. Also the RCA Forza highlights album (1954) with her and Jan Peerce/Leonard Warren. The "Pace, Pace" on that particular recording, IMO, has never been surpassed. It's almost as though Verdi could have written that aria just for HER (I'm expecting a deluge of derision for this!). Granted, Milanov was a very inconsistent and erratic singer, but when all the stars were in alignment and her voice was "spinning", she was incomparable (more derision expected!). I only wish the stars were in alignment more often. 
"Zink-a-lator" is a new one on me. I've seen "the Zinkamatic", the "Zinkel", and "the Zinkey", and suppose some innovative poster will come up with a new one. I really enjoy these. But at the risk of being lynched on this Board, I will say that there are times when I hear her and think she had the most gorgeous voice I ever heard. 
As far as Callas "nailing" phrases like "Invan! tutto e finito" is concerned --------- this is nothing new. For the most part, Callas "nailed" mostly everything, regardless of the condition of her voice between 1952 and 1960. She operated on a totally different galaxy. Her uniqueness makes her impossible to compare to anyone else. 

Should I arm myself for an attack???? 

Les 


----- Original Message -----

From: "Stephen Charitan" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: "Les Mitnick" <[log in to unmask]> 
Cc: "OPERA-L" <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:27:25 PM 
Subject: Re: CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR 2016 

Les, 

As you know I'm no fan of The Zink-a-lator but she, and especially Jussi do nail this one vocally. That being said, NO ONE can deliver the words "Invan! tutto è finito" like Callas and in those 4 words, she vanquishes the competition... 

Steve 

On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 7:41 PM, Les Mitnick < [log in to unmask] > wrote: 


I've given this so much thought because there are so many operatic wonders preserved in sound, but I always return to the Tomb Scene (Aida) as sung by Jussi Bjoerling and Zinka Milanov on the still-classic RCA recording. I discovered it when I was seventeen, and I still listen to it in wonderment. I've heard no other version of this scene that satisfies me as much. 
Les/Chicago 

----- Original Message ----- 

From: "RAYMOND GOUIN" < [log in to unmask] > 
To: "OPERA-L" < [log in to unmask] > 
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 2:45:09 PM 
Subject: CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR 2016 

Personal favorites that are my electronic Christmas presents to all for 2016 [ same as last year but worth repeating :) ]. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCk-ReQNd_w 

Carlo Bergonzi, "Cielo e mar", La Gioconda, nd 
This is likely taken from a Met Saturday broadcast. The aria 
is called "Cielo e mar". I call it perfection. 

*** 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK3OjbwBBwg 

Leontine Price, "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta", La Rondine 
This was on Price's first LP. As soon as I heard it, I placed it in my 
Parthenon of opera recordings. This is a live recording in less than 
perfect sound, but I wanted to demonstrate that her singing was not 
a trick of the recording studio. 

*** 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGfP38nd-U0 

Leontine Price,1985 Met Farewell Performance, “O patria mia” from Aida. 
There were a few rough patches in Price’s last performance at the Met, but it all 
came together – many times over – for “O patria mia”. Stay with the two minutes 
of applause that follow and be thankful for the wise decision to keep the camera 
close up on Price. Raw emotion of this type is rarely captured by the camera. 

*** 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPDsNTXuozc 

Renata Tebaldi, Jussi Bjoerling, Arias & Duet Act 1, La Boheme. 1956. 
This excerpt has been around for a very long time, but it will always 
deserve another listen and view. It provides us a very rare and 
treasured visual of two opera titans at their finest. 

*** 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lVOlpoxoq0 

Jon Vickers & Leonie Rysanek, Act I Finale, Die Walkure, 1972 
A very long excerpt, but so what. A reminder of what heldentenors are 
supposed to sound like and Leonie, after a bit of a rough start, is no 
chopped liver herself. Note how Vickers' singing is absolutely effortless. 

*** 

And two repeats from Christmas presents of past years: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-RrG4sfdis 

From 1967, Franco Corelli in Parma, "E lucevan le stelle" from Tosca. 
This is one of those rare recordings where the electricity coursing 
through the audience becomes palpable as Corelli sings "discogliea dai 
veli", giving example as to his phenomenal breath control and diminuendo. 
You can skip the last three minutes which is all applause. Again thanks to 
Stefan who has had much to do with publicizing this performance. 

*** 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNg8VGrIqls 

From 1962, Beverly Sills singing the "Willow Song" from The Ballad of Baby 
Doe. The white haired gentleman seen in the opening and closing moments 
is the opera's composer, Douglas Moore. Although Sills did not create the 
role, once she assumed it at New York City Opera a few years after the 
premiere, it became indelibly associated with her. This is Bev as I knew her 
when I was with the Opera Company of Boston, in the years before she 
became THE Beverly Sills. 

*** 

Christmas blessings to all. Hanukkah Sameach! Have a safe and prosperous New Year, 
and may the wind always be at your back. 

Best from Boston 
Ray Gouin 


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