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Subject: Norma, Lyric Opera 28 Feb. 2017
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 28 Jan 2017 22:02:47 -0700
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I just listened to the Norma over FMT.  It was a very good performance.
Sondra Radvanovsky is the Norma of the 21st century.  This is the third
Norma of her's I have heard and she is without equal today in this role.
That she moves that huge instrument with such accuracy and delicacy is
amazing.  A great night of singing and her portrayal has depth and
feeling.  I don't think any one else in the case was remotely near her
level.  Russell Thomas is a very good tenor and was a fine Pollione.  I
would love to hear more of him.  I personally was not impressed with
Elizabeth De Shong's Adalgisa but then my first was Marilyn Horne so I'm
rather jaded.  As for the Oroveso, Andrea Silvestrelli, I continue to be
absolutely confounded that he continues to get employment in Chicago.  I
have heard him a number of time and while he is a good performer, the voice
itself to my ears is very unattractive.  It certainly isn't bel canto.
Orchestra and chorus were fine as usual.  The musical standards in Chicago
are very high as befits one of the worlds great Opera companies.

There was a beautiful intermission tribute to Oralia Dominguez.  Nice
touch.

One thing I find rather strange.  Whenever they discuss operatic history in
Chicago, it seems that there was nothing there prior to 1954.  How you can
discuss Norma in Chicago without mention of Rosa Raisa amazes me.  Did
Raisa, Muzio, Leider, Turner, Martinelli, Garden, among the many never sing
there?  Was the Civic Opera House not used before 1954?  Does the
Auditorium Theatre not exist?  Or is their mission to only mention the
Lyric Opera and the hell with anything that came before?

Donald

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