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Subject: Riccardo Stracciari - was Rigoletto - among my favorite operas
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:31:11 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Absolutely Don Paolo. Stracciari is probably, after Tito Gobbi, my
favorite Italian baritone. In his own time he was seen as a superb
balance of De Luca's textual prowess and Ruffo's vocal opulence.

He had a huge and very long career, extending well into his
sixties. His Rigoletto recording is marred by the acid antics of
Mercedes Capsir, but Borgioli is a definite asset. He left a huge
recorded legacy, largely preserved on Preiser, Lebendige
Vergangenheit and other labels, most of which have
gone belly up in the age of YouTube and other web facilities.

Bob

On Monday, February 6, 2017, Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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