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Subject: MIGNON
From: David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 28 Jan 2017 18:36:59 +0000

text/plain (19 lines)

Bing was notoriously snooty about works he didn't consider "masterpieces' and if BILLY BUDD, KHIVANSHCHINA and JENUFA didn't qualify, neither would have MIGNON. (Yet then he turned around and did MARTHA, not to mention THE LAST SAVAGE).

As for Stevens, Mignon was apparently a very good role for her in the 30s and 40s -- though Tourel's debut (!) broadcast is really stunning, easier better than Stevens-- she could not have done it justice in the 50s when her voice was in evident decline, patchy and ( as someone here write long ago) "like wet wool".
Meanwhile,we should recall that NYCO staged MIGNON in 1956 with what must have been avery good team: Frances Bible, Richard Verreau, Beverly Sills, Donald Gramm andFrank Porretta (as a tenor Frédéric)--under Jean Morel’s baton.  Theydidn’t revive it through the end of the Rudel era, when the archives in theSokol book end. But do I recallcorrectly that Sills revived it (maybe Susanne Marsee and Gianna Rolandi?) at NYCOin the early 80s? They certainly had the casts for it when they were doing CENDRILLON.
San Francisco Opera staged it in their 1966 summer season with Helen Vanni, Poretta ( now as Wilhlem Meister), the late lamented Marni Nixon, McHenry Boatwright and Marija Kova (as a messo Frédéric).
Best- David Shengold

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