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Subject: Re: Rigoletto - among my favorite operas
From: Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:05:44 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I committed 2 "sins of omission" - the old recording w/Riccardo Stracciari 
(who was in his 60's at the time) is among my top Rigoletto favs (besides, 
it has a fine Dino Borgioli as the Duke).  And, yes, Manuguerra was one 
helluva baritone - didn't he reach prominence at a relatively mature age?

AS for Merrill - yes, nice voice, but some of his "villainous" portrayals 
(Scarpia, Barnaba, Iago) were almost comical.

DonP.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Bob Rideout
Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2017 9:23 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Rigoletto - among my favorite operas

Don Paolo

It was pretty bad, but I was able to enjoy it for its sake. The music
is just wonderful.

You left out my favorite Rigoletto, Matteo Manuguerra, a superb
vocalist with a magnificent voice. I first heard him with Sutherland and
Pavarotti at the Met. It was gangbusters and fireworks all night!

And I agree about Paskalis. I saw him at Covent Garden and it was
right up there, both vocally and. visually. He had a marvelous stage
presence in everyhing he sang.

I have to put in a word for Robert Merrill. my first Rigoletto, who brought
nothing in particular to the character, but who was vocally astounding.
What a marvelous voice!

Bob

On Saturday, February 4, 2017, Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Bob - You are being most charitable!  If this was their "best", God help
> us on a "bad" night.
>
> Lucic showed no emotion during the short musical show of desperation after
> Gilda's abduction to the "ah la maledizion" at the end of the act, & 
> became
> more & more tired, forced & hoarse as the afternoon wore on.  The "si
> vendetta" duet was a disaster, IMO. Unless he was ill, he "cheated" us out
> of  every traditional high note in Rigoletto's music.
>
> After the shipwreck, I indulged in my personal "calmative" by playing what
> I believe was Leonard Warren's last Met Rigoletto - the 1959 broadcast 
> with
> Fernandi & Roberta Peters - it proved to be a "cure" for the sloppy mess
> that we heard today.  I attended that performance & even as a teen, I
> understood that we were being treated to something very special by Leonard
> Warren's vocal majesty, his interpretation & his incredible superhuman
> vocal strength.
>
> After his passing, there have been a few very decent interpreters of the
> role: Louis Quiico, Leo Nucci, Peter Glossop, Kostas Paskalis, all of whom
> I appreciated greatly, but for me, Warren set the standard.
>
> Regards,
>
> DonPaolo
>
> -----Original Message----- From: Bob Rideout
> Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2017 5:53 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Rigoletto - among my favorite operas
>
> from the Met, as heard on WQXR today..
>
> I do love the opera, and I remain convinced that it, among a large
> number of other operas, cannot be ruined in performance, and so
> it was today.
>
> The performance was not a disaster, but it was not very good. For
> starters, all three pricipals ducked crucial top notes, and though not
> all were "come scritto", all are pretty solidified in tradition.
>
> Sorry, Volkova, Costello and Lucic were not much better than ordinary,
> and at times they were less than that. Lucic impressed me early, but in 
> the
> last two acts, he was a lesson in how not to sing in tune, and his top
> register was a mess. The others were variable, but, to be clear, they did
> not wreck the performance. Every time I thought it would derail, the music
> saved the day, and the. singers got back on track.
>
> They did their best, I guess. Morandi conducted well, I thought. The 
> choral
> passages are among the greatest things about Rigoletto, and they came off
> very well.
>
> It is a very great opera! I was happy enough!
>
> Bob
>
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