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Subject: Re: Caballe's Lucia (was Re: Caruso's Trill)
From: robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 29 Dec 2016 13:28:40 -0500

text/plain (58 lines)

Moffo never, ever referred to that performance - I met her several times in
the mid-70s (she wanted to write a memoir but had no idea how to and I was
working as a book editor at the time) and while she talked about her nose
job and how her voice "changed" with menopause, there was no acknowledgment
of frailty or drug use or illness. I suspect the book would have been a
glossy puff job - she was married to the head of NBC (I believe) at the
time and had appearances to keep up. She was quite heavy at the time and
joked about it, but was still glamotous beyond compare.
She was the loveliest Violetta I've ever heard and some of her recordings -
the Luisa Miller, even the too-light Butterfly - retain their special place
in my heart. When she was good....

On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 1:19 PM, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Robert Levine wrote:
> "I was at that Moffo matinee and we all thought she was drunk - it got
> worse
> and worse and she was holding on to the curtain by the time the calls came
> around. It was alarming to say the least. She looked absolutely stoned. I
> later found out that there was NO COVER and she refused to stop anyway,
> claiming there was nothing wrong."
> Was she perhaps over-medicated?  If she was ill, she might have been
> taking something or
> had a shot to get her through the performance, and misjudged the dosage,
> or combined
> medications that shouldn't have been taken together.  That would explain
> the "stoned"
> behavior and the lack of judgment.
> Moffo was indeed a fine soprano in her (short) prime and should be
> remembered by her best
> rather than her worst.  But alas, as Shakespeare wrote in "Julius Caesar,"
> "The evil that men
> do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."  Lots of
> people persist in
> thinking of Callas as a capricious, temperamental canceler, when she was
> in fact a
> consummate professional who canceled relatively infrequently.

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