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Subject: formerly Hampson; Verdi baritones
From: R PRADA <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:R PRADA <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:19:58 -0400

text/plain (28 lines)

Bob Merrill told someone I knew that his voice, being dark with high range, was a anomaly, and that he would probably spoil it for everyone who came after him.

Verdi’s high baritone was Mattia Battistini.  He tired to get Faure to sing Iago - at that stage Iago was the name of the opera. Faure refused, because Verdi wrote parts that were too high for him. Verdi subsequently shifted the balance of the opera and called it Otello, a dramatic tenor role. 

as an aside. I like some of the work I have heard from Jonas Kaufmann back when he was singing lighter and his voice had a lovely ring. 
I hope I am wrong in saying he has gone beyond his natural type of role, and in pushing his voice, has lost luster. Naturally he is playing it carefully, and not singing a lot. It seems like he is saving himself for Otello. But Otello saves nobody. We have seen this too many times. 

For Kaufmann is a smart, sophisticated singer, with lovely phrasing, and  beautiful music and expressive impulses. I wish him a long and happy career for all our sakes. 

> Good Verdi baritones seem to be in short supply; great ones appear to be =
> extinct.

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