LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: a final word on Leontyne Price
From: walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 15 Mar 2017 03:28:41 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (244 lines)


Price sang Tosca first peformance was April 1962 at the Metropolitan, the recorded it that same year with Karajan and last was November 1963 in Los Angeles. and if I remember correctly there was one more Tosca in Wienn in 1964. She sang Tosca very littleIn 1970 Régine Crespin had to sing Tosca at the Metropolitan and in the rehearsal she told to conductor Molinari -Pradelli "maestro you have to help me, I don't have the C" and Molinari-Pradelli answered her "if you don't have the C I can not help you". Cresoin was so offended she laft the Tosca and flew to Buenos Aires where she had her friends. She never sang Tosca again
Crespin was scheduled for the Zubin Metha Tosca recording with Domingo , but she had to reject the project after that the recording was finally done in august 1972 and and Price replaced her, So Price history with Tosca is she sang it two years on stage and made two opera recordings
Price debuted un Ballo in maschera in 1966 , she sang it at the Metropolitan, and in tour, she recorded it the same year 1966 with Leinsdorf and Bergonzi and sang it in 1967/68 at the Metropolitan, and last performance at La Scala in 1968 (her Scala farewell performance ) and she dropped the role
She saved her voice by doing more concerts and recitals. Price never really changed repertoire. She may have dropped a couple roles, but she always sang the same things throughout her whole career. Aída is the role she sang more often ,It hard to say how many Aida because archives get lost over the years, but I'd say around 80 performances.
She sang very little opera, . Once she made her debuts all over the world, she stayed in her home country. If she sang over 100 Aidas, I would be shocked. She simply did not sing a large amount of opera. In her 25 years at the Met, she only sang the role 40 times and that is her favorite opera house. She gave a total of 208 performances at the Metropolitan (including in tour) She recorded a gigantic amount of repertoire. She just didn't take all of it to the stage.
Price sang 20 roles on stage. Exactly. She did not sing many different roles. She stuck with what she knew and what she liked. On the stage, she sang only five Verdi roles. Aida, La Forza, Il Trovatore, Un Ballo, Ernani.
But she once the 1970's and 1980's happened, she  sang less opera.Her days of focusing on fully staged opera were over after the 1960's



She  did not like to sing Butterfly so she let Arroyo have the engagements.
Price was not a large voice. it wasn't pushed or supported by a big body. For a small woman, she had a big voice. But for an opera singer, she was a lyric soprano

 Price sang at La Scala from 1960 to 1968 She sang Aida, Madama Butterfly, Donna Anna, Verdi Requiem, Amelia at La Scala. She appeared in seasons 1959-1960, 1960-1961, 1962-1963, 1963-1964, 1966-1967, 1967-1968. With her final role there as Amelia in May 1968

Fanciulla del west '61 She lost her voice in the middle Act 2 and had to speak the rest of the opera.After that experience she was so embarrassed she hid in Rome for three months. Then did the role in Dallas and never touched it again. Except to record Minnie's aria in 1972
 She quit the Met for two years because she wanted Bing to leave. She sang one opera and then sang at his Gala and that was it. She appreciated him as a man, but really did not like working for him.She made no appearances in 1970 or 1971

Price  was pretty bad in the 1976 Aida production with Horne
 Manon Lescaut In San Francisco in 1974 and In New York in 1975. Ariadne in San Francisco in 1977 and recorded in 1977 and in New York in 1979. She wanted to sing more Strauss, but only sang Ariadne. She regretted this.

 Domingo recording Otello  in 1978 She was originally announced as Desdemona. Placido fired her. He said that vocally, she was expired and old and he didn't want his Otello to be with her. And for her to be replaced with the awful Scotto. That is bad. So bad.

She sang Ariadne auf Naxos at the MET in 1979. She got sick and so she sang, but it wasn't her best. She said the next year, she wanted to sing Der Rosenkavalier and then retire. The Metropolitan told her she could not sing the Marschallin, so she did her three Verdi Heroines and ended up doing staged opera much longer than she originally wanted to.


Walter




      De: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
 Para: [log in to unmask] 
 Enviado: Martes, 14 de marzo, 2017 19:31:17
 Asunto: Re: a final word on Leontyne Price
   
I did hear Price live a number of times. My perceptions agree with some here.

What my ears tell me: when she first came to attention in the 50s, she had a beautiful, luminous lyric soprano voice with an amazing high extension. I've recounted here going to a 1971 SF "Trovatore" and, entering the opera house from Grove St., was startled to hear her vocalizing full voiced high Fs that didn't sound anything like the end of the road.

Her voice was definitely of a smaller, lighter caliber than other sopranos singing Aida when she started in 1957 (Tebaldi, Rysanek, Milanov) but the purity and focus of her sound and that high register enabled her to find an effective way to sing it on her own terms.  Same with the "Trovatore" Leonora. 

That voice and technique were also perfect for roles like Liu and, in the right venue, even a lyric Tosca (I'm actually not a big fan of the Wagnerian banshees in that role). She ran into problems of scale that caused her a trainwreck with Minnie.

It sounds to me like shortly after her recovery from the "Fanciulla" crisis, she made some conscious choices. She apparently wanted to continue with "big girl" roles and wasn't any longer interested in things like Liu. What I hear her doing, starting as early as 1963, is puffing up the middle register, putting more air into it and creating more volume but with it some coarsening of the tone. This change made her low notes more hoarse and toneless. However, she was able to do it (probably after a lot of experimentation) without getting in the way of her upper register.

One result was that the top, while free and beautiful, was relatively small compared to the rest of her voice.

This way of singing let her continue successfully with roles like the "Forza" Leonora and "Ballo" Amelia that, I think, would have otherwise been too heavy for her natural instrument. Sometimes more successful than others but, always, the top coming to her rescue.

Over time, this created a coarsening of sound in her middle voice and a very hollow low register, but getting into the 70's her top actually got larger and kept its quality.

This all sounds worse than the actual experience. I think she was pushing her voice beyond natural limits but she was so talented and the basic material so good that she turned out a large number of superb performances and a few painful ones.

In the mid 70's she seemed to be deteriorating. Somehow, she seemed to get herself pulled back into much better shape for the Salzburg "Trovatore" under Karajan and her White House recital and, whatever she did, seemed to give her several more years of overall good singing.

At least that's how I heard her. But I never missed a chance to see her, whether in opera or in recital.

Max Paley



Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 14, 2017, at 14:15, walter guitian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Though I never heard Price in live: She was not a Verdian  soprano not dramatic voice at all. They say she sounded big, but even Freni had a big voice and Caballe ,no one were dramatic singers. But Price darkened all her career her middle voice. Her bottom is a horror without focus, and the top disappears, straight. Three completely different voices. That is what I hear after recordings. Not to mention her totally unmusical manners .  By my opinion hearing her on youtube a Gilda aria with E''' she was a natural, big voiced coloratura. Again: This is my opinion.It would have been interesting to listen to her middle opened, not covered, I think it would have fitted her top much better. I always felt her a "made" voice, not a natural singing.Singers who sing Aidas is long sessions, sing the role for decades are (suprisingly) not Verdian voices, usually big voiced liricos, like , Price , Tucci, or the best one among them Chiara. In Hungarian Staatsoper Ilona Tokody was a nominated Aida, who was a tipical big voiced lirico puro, not even spinto.Real, drammatic Aidas, sang the role not so often, I have three Ghena Dimitrova "live" Aidas , one from Spain 1982, other from Paris 1984 and another one from La Scala 1985  and she has bitter accidents with the C in "O patria mia" in the three performances,  I share with you her 1984 Paris performance with bad vibrato on the top so it was technical fault and very short C that she misses the note on 1:31:34
> Dimitrova Bartolini Obraztsova Fondary - Aida 1984
> 
> 
> |  
> |  
> |  
> |  |    |
> 
>  |
> 
>  |
> |  
> |    |  
> Dimitrova Bartolini Obraztsova Fondary - Aida 1984
>  |  |
> 
>  |
> 
>  |
> 
> 
> 
> Walter
> 
>      De: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
> Para: [log in to unmask] 
> Enviado: Martes, 14 de marzo, 2017 13:57:41
> Asunto: Re: a final word on Leontyne Price
> 
> I will waste another posting - I forgot Elisabeth Rethberg - 20 years as
> Aida at the Met.  She started in 1922 and ended as Aida in 1942.  I'll bet
> if I checked it, Lucine Amara might have some sort of a record also, if
> only because Lucine sang soo long and kept her voice in fighting shape for
> so long.  None of this of course has anything to do with Price's glorious
> reign as Aida.
> 
> Donald
> 
>> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 9:53 AM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Zinka Milanov sang her first Aida's in 1928 in Zagreb and 1929 in
>> Dresden.  Her first at the Met was Feb. 2, 1938 and her last in 1958 at
>> with the Met at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on May 1, 1958.  This was
>> probably her last Aida ever.  But thats a 30 year career total over all, 20
>> years at the Met.  That is probably a Met record.  She also sang it in
>> three languages - Serbo-Croatian, German and Italian.  I am sure she is not
>> the only one, but Price's 27 year career as an Aida is spectacular and few
>> have matched it, few have exceeded it.
>> 
>> My favorite Price recording - other than the Blue Recital?  The Butterfly
>> she recorded with Tucker.  Exquisite.  Price/Tucker and Tebaldi/Bergonzi
>> killed it for me.  It has never been sung as exquisitely since.  (The
>> Steber/Tucker is not chopped liver either).  As for Price's other
>> recordings, the Salzburg Trovatore with Price, Simionato, Corelli,
>> Bastianini & Herbie Von K is stunningly amazing.  (LOL - don't kill me for
>> that hyperbole)
>> 
>> Donald
>> 
>> On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 12:06 AM, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> 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!
>>> 
>>> **********************************************
>>> OPERA-L on Facebook:
>>> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
>>> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
>>> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
>>> NOMAIL
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> --------------
>>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 
> 
> 
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

   

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager