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Subject: Re: a final word on Leontyne Price
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:04:34 +0000
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Surely Price was one of the greatest Aida's of all time.  Her Trovatore Leonora had to be heard live to be believed, as it was so incredibly beautiful and well sung. Her recordings of the role, as good as they are, do not do her justice. The same is true of her Forza Leonora and Amelia in Ballo. Also incredibly beautiful was a recital performance of Adriana's first act aria, in her sixties, which was better than Tebaldi ever sang it and even better than Caballe's performance I heard live.  There are so many other recordings and live performances that confirm her incredible vocal greatness.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 3:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [OPERA-L] a final word on Leontyne Price

Overlooking her extraordinarily long singing career before the public,
and having seen her live in only a few operas, but lots of concerts and
recitals, and being the owner of most of her recordings, It's my feeling that
it's pretty hard to find any real fault with most of her work.  The voice was
without peer in her time, and if she made a few miscalculations in
repertoire choices (Thais in Chicago and Fanciulla in New York), she more
than compensated for it in the operas she chose to undertake.  The
miraculous preservation of her voice is amply demonstrated in her final
Aida (and performance) at the Met in January 1985 at the age of 58, by
which time she had been singing the role since she first performed it in
Vancouver in 1958.  I know of no soprano who could shoulder Aida over
the course of such  a long career.  And I'd like to know of a soprano TODAY
who could sing Aida as well as Price still could  when she hung up her
opera shoes in 1985.  I just watched the DVD (I have the performance in
great sound and picture) and the audience response to "O Patria Mia" (and
her reaction to it) is still something for the opera history books.
     My essential Price treasury:  her Madame Lidione Scene in "Carmelites"
as presented in French on her Prima Donna III recording, her "Rondine"
aria on her "blue album", the Awakening Scene from Strauss' "The
Egyptian Helen", Marietta's Lied from "Die Tote Shtadt", her "Como
Scoglio" from "Cosi Fan Tutte", Donna Anna's "Non mi dir" (from Salzburg
in 1960 with Schwarzkopf's Elvira, and "Du Bist Der Lenz" from Die
Walkure.
     She was fluent in sung English, French, and German, and she sang in
all of those languages.  She had and preserved a magnificent vocal
instrument.  Of course, a certain hoarseness and a bit of fog crept into the
lower register in the 1970s, but when one looks at the overall track record
and the "complete package", it's pretty hard to find serious fault with one
of the smartest sopranos in opera history, who managed her career with a
shrewdness and panache that was second to none.  I doubt whether we will
encounter her like again.  What a life!  What a career!

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