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Subject: Re: VASTLY DIFFERENT CRITICAL OPINIONS
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:43:46 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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I understand how some listeners hear no faults with their favorite singers
but are highly critical of other singers not their favorites.  Personally
after so many years of listening, I definitely have and have had my
favorites but I still try to listen to all singers with a critical ear.
The difference is that I hear those faults but discard them in favor of the
rest of the performance which may still be wonderful.  In other words, a
few flat high notes from a Tebaldi, Flagstad or other singers are
recognized but do not ruin the entire performance for me.  There is a huge
difference in hearing what you want to hear and hearing what is actually
being voiced.
dond

On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 9:30 AM, John Irving <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Amen!
>
>
>     John
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Jan 31, 2017, at 8:25 AM, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > Sterling:
> > Your point is well taken. I don't understand it either. There are some
> opera people who feel that if one doesn't appreciate an artist they hold up
> as sacred, it's a personal insult to them. There has to be a psychological
> explanation for it, but I can't waste the time looking for it. Opera is a
> passionate art form and it seems to invite passionate opinions, which kind
> of makes it fun until someone crosses the line and becomes rude and
> abusive. One important lesson: You never build an artist UP by knocking
> another artist DOWN.
> > We've all seen critics do that (THEY frequently differ in THEIR
> opinions!). People should listen and enjoy what they respond to. Period.
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >
> > From: [log in to unmask]
> > To: "Les Mitnick" <[log in to unmask]>, "OPERA-L" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 12:45:28 AM
> > Subject: RE: VASTLY DIFFERENT CRITICAL OPINIONS
> >
> > I worked at the Tower classical annex in San Francisco until it expired.
> I told many of my clients: "Look. If there are 3,000 people in the
> audience, 3,000 different performances are happening simultaneously. Plus
> the orchestra. And the singers. Everybody hears it differently according to
> their own perspective and experience."
> >
> > I have never understood why some people get so angry when we do not
> worship the same gods they do...
> >
> > Sterling
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -------- Original Message --------
> > Subject: VASTLY DIFFERENT CRITICAL OPINIONS
> > From: Les Mitnick < [log in to unmask] >
> > Date: Mon, January 30, 2017 11:25 pm
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > I am going to try to weigh in on this. It's only my feelings being
> > expressed, and I speak for no one else. When it comes to professional
> > critical opinions, I read very carefully, usually accept the opinion
> (most
> > of the time) and move on. We all are actually our own critics. What
> > reaches US individually is highly personal.
> > With a role like Norma, there is far too much for everyone to agree on.
> > For me, Callas remains the ultimate Norma (on her live recordings, both
> of
> > her studio recordings --------- even though on the second her vocal
> > imperfections are easy to discern). On the 1960 studio recording, even
> > given the condition of her voice, she moves me like no other Norma. She's
> > commanding, has tremendous authority, and puts her stamp on the role as
> no
> > one else has. Given that, I find that despite some flawless singing,
> > outstanding duet work with Marilyn Horne, etc, that Joan Sutherland was
> > never a real Norma. She lacked the authority and venom that must be
> present
> > in the role. Too many phrases went for nothing. I think that Caballe came
> > much closer to the ideal. The role was way beyond Scotto, but she did her
> > best (which wasn't enough). I won't go into Elena Suliotis, whom I heard
> in
> > Chicago. At age 25, with a Callas-like voice, she failed terribly, in
> > thought. June Anderson tried Norma in Chicago in 1997, and it was at best
> > an honorable attempt but still a noble failure.
> > Sondra Radvanovsky is most emphatically a beautiful and real Norma,
> > though I'm sure many will disagree. No, she can't dip her voice in venom
> > like Callas could, but she sings with authority and with conviction. I am
> > unaware of any other Norma today who could touch her. But this is only a
> > reflection of what moves and thrills ME. I love the opera, and I find the
> > Norma situation made even more difficult by the "new approach" by Cecilia
> > Bartoli, whom I feel has some really beautiful moments. In fact, the
> whole
> > performance is different from all the others, and it did take me several
> > plays to appreciate it. There's room for her interpretation also. I've
> > said this before, but I'll say it again: I find it amazing that the
> critics
> > praised it (for the most part) but opera lovers disdained it. Perhaps
> many
> > have changed their minds.
> > The crux of my point is that there are so many different ways to
> > approach this very complex and difficult role that anyone who undertakes
> it
> > is going to face some controversy, which is healthy. I listen mostly to
> > Callas, Caballe, Bartoli, and now Radvanovsky. I find Sutherland's
> efforts
> > to be technically admirable, but for me she's bloodless, and not really
> > suited for this opera. The emotional depths of the role are not hers to
> give.
> > So there is no right or wrong. People gravitate to what they like to
> > hear in a Norma. I find Radvanovsky today just about "as good it it
> gets" .
> > I'm glad she waited so long to undertake the role and hope oher Norma
> > deepens andrefines itself even further in the coming seasons. I wonder
> what
> > Anna Netrebko will one day make of this opera (if she ever besides to
> > perform it.)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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-- 
​Always keep a roll of baling wire and another of duct tape in your car.
It's amazing how useful it can be.

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