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Subject: A few facts about the most important British and American sopranos
From: Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jason Victor Serinus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 12 Feb 2017 11:30:23 -0800

text/plain (56 lines)

1. Dame Joan Sutherland was Australian, not British
2. Dame Maggie Teyte (1888-1976, which had the same birth-death years as
Lotte Lehmann) began in opera, as Debussy's second Melisande, and went on
to become one of the supreme interpreters of French song. While her career
was stalled if not virtually blocked by wars and other reigning lyric
sopranos, she did sing a fair amount of opera and operetta. If you include
the mark she made in song, she deserves consideration.
3. I'm not sure how anyone would judge the "absolute" importance of
Ponselle vs. Price, but Price was known internationally as the soprano who
broke the color barrier. No, she was not the first African-American singer
to do so. But as a symbol of America's efforts to overcome racial division
- efforts that a poised to take a disastrous step backwards under the
current Presidential administration - her importance is extra-musical. She
also began her career in an American opera, Porgy & Bess, and premiered
music by Barber, Harrison, and others.
4. Callas spent the first 14 years of her life in the U.S., and returned
here after 8 years. She did, however, study with de Hidalgo and launch her
career in Greece. She was Greek-American.
5. Beverly Sills is extremely important, not only for her career in its own
right, but also for championing the value of previously under-valued
American singers. While her contributions to the bel canto revival did
follow on the heels of Callas and Sutherland's, her artistry was very much
her own. Alas, the period when she received most recognition and sang in
her prime was short - and she was not recorded as much as the other two
women, or Caballé for that matter.

Jason Victor Serinus     Whistler
Extraordinaire: **The Voice of Woodstock • The Pavarotti of Pucker**
Music and audiophile critic: Seattle Times, Port Townsend Leader,
Stereophile, Listen, San Francisco Classical Voice, Bay Area Reporter, Gay
City News, American Record Guide, Classical Voice North America, Stanford
Live, Opera Now, Copper, and more

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