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Subject: Re: Semiramide mezzo vs soprano
From: Clarissa Cheer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Clarissa Cheer <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 2 Mar 2017 20:31:53 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Dear Stephen, 
I don't go rushing round Europe like before - now the situation has
changed, but during the '80s a live Semiramide was hard to find. I was
waiting to see it staged-but had to travel from California where I lived to
catch the London concert performance in 1986. Same went for Rossini's fine
Otello in Nice. Historically, Otello was far more popular than Semiramide in
Rossini's life time, especially it was a show piece for tenors like Rubini.
I agree with Stephen about Semirimide being a masterpiece. I love the opera.
However, most of his operas depend on singers that are schooled in the bel
canto style of singing which can be very difficult.

My old recording of Semiramide was of Montserrat Caballe with Horne, Ramey
and Araiza (1980). Aix-en- Provence.

Clarissa

> From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 20:26:26 -0500
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Semiramide mezzo vs soprano
> 
> Clarissa,
> 
> I think it is much easier to find Rossini revivals now - take what I
> consider to be his masterpiece "Semiramide:"
> 
> Last November I attended a very creditable version at Washington Concert
> Opera with Jessica Pratt and Vivica Genaux - Munich is currently ending an
> acclaimed production with Joyce Di Donato, soon to be seen (hopefully by me
> as well...)  in London.  This spring Delaware concert opera is presenting
> it and it is on the MET's roster next Feb / March for both in house
> performance and HD transmission.
> 
> The MET has finally caught up with Europe in terms of staged - once rare -
> Rossini - In recent years NY has had, in addition to "Semiramide" - "Le
> Comte Ory," "Armida," "La Donna del Lago," and "Guillaume Tell..."   Rather
> than being a rarity here in the Americas, Rossini seems to be the man of
> the hour...
> 
> Steve
> 
> On Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 3:29 PM, Clarissa Cheer <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>> Thank you Jim, I have a live recording myself. I was there- and had a very
>> close seat to the singers. June Anderson and Marilyn Horne looked ravishing
>> in sequin covered dresses if I remember right. Sam Ramey and Chris Merritt
>> were in top form, and the stage entrance was packed with people afterwards.
>> I think there were 75 in the chorus. I have the programme somewhere. This
>> performance was from Covent Garden and in concert 1986. Afterwards the Met
>> followed with the fully staged showing. At that time Rossini's serious
>> operas were not shown very much outside of Italy, and even now after brief
>> revivals during his 200 year birthday, it is not so easy to find live
>> showings.
>> 
>> Clarissa Lablache
>> 
>>> From: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Reply-To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 12:13:23 -0500
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Subject: Semiramide mezzo vs soprano
>>> 
>>> If you want a really good performance - the London 86 reading with
>> Anderson
>>> Horne Ramey and Merritt is now on youtube in relatively good sound -
>> some cuts
>>> especially the chorus preceeding Arcace's second act scena but both of
>>> Idreno's arias are there - Anderson's aria in the first act remains
>> untouched
>>> but
>>> Gossett's  influence seems present - Henry Lewis conducts as well as
>> Bonynge
>>> who usually cut Irene's first aria
>>> some primo ottocento women sang both Semiramide and Arsace especially
>> Malibran
>>> - two singer's of today could have
>>> managed both - mezzo Ganassi who was the intended Semiramide in Naples
>> (she
>>> sang Elisabetta and Ermione in Pesaro) and Antonacci
>>> who is now a mezzo who sang Semiramide in Catania -  the mezzo was
>> intended
>>> for a contralto (Podles comes to mind)
>>> transposition was a norm during Rossini's time - he apparently approved
>> of
>>> soprano/mezzo Rosinas but I can't find any comment on
>>> Semiramide although Malibran sang both in Paris while he was living
>> there and
>>> was a good friend of Rossini
>>> sincerely
>>> Jim Eaton
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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