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Subject: "Late" Leontyne Price
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:34:56 -0400
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The problems started around 1967, with a pronounced tendency
to slur words and music, the apparent intention of delivering
a more dramatic reading of her roles. It was noticeable earlier in
the "Carmen" recording, but not in her stage performances, which
approached perfection until the Old Met closed its doors. Her
performance of "D'amor" at the Closing Night Gala was, along
with Nilsson's "Immolation", the greatest vocal moment of the
evening, and among the most exquisite pieces of singing I've ever
heard.

Her early Donna Annas in the New House were clear signs of danger,
and outside of the great arias in "Ballo" and "Forza" the mannerism
became a constant intrusion into my emjoyment of her singing. It was
unbearable in the third act of "Ballo". By 1969 I gave up and heard
her only on broadcasts, which had moments both great and head
scratching. But, it must be said that the night of her Met farewell
as Aida, I could not stop the tears after "O patria mia". It was nothing
short of miraculous. The top register never failed her, and she never
screwed around with the incredible fluidity that was uniquely hers
at the top of the range.

Bob

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