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Subject: Re: Leontyne Price - Fanciulla del West
From: Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 16 Mar 2017 01:35:29 +0000
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Hello all--
I have been wanting to contribute something to this discussion about Mme. Price, and just haven't had time.  However, I do want to chime in and say how surprised I am that she considers the first Forza her least favorite recording.  That recording could very well be my top favorite of all of the ones she made.  I became familiar with it not long after it came out and I still think that she and Tozzi own the soprano/bass duet; I have yet to hear it done better.  I hadn't heard the recording in years, but got to hear the whole thing recently while on a three-and-a-half driving trip, as part of the Price brick that was recently issued by Sony Classical.  God, I still think that is a wonderful recording of Forza; I raved about it to some friends after I got to my destination.
Mike Leone
[log in to unmask] il Leone!

      From: Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 8:40 AM
 Subject: Re: Leontyne Price - Fanciulla del West
   
From how Price talked about the "Fanciulla" experience later, it's clear that the experience of having her voice, as you put it, "give out completely" absolutely terrified her. Someone with less grit would have probably cancelled all future performances of the opera and everything else, but she was a pro.

She talked about how she retreated to Rome as soon as she could to rest and think. She was ecstatic to find herself able to "scream my lungs out" before long, but she also clearly applied deep thought toward how she would manage her voice and career moving forward. 

From that point on, she seemed to do what she felt was right for her and didn't care so much what anyone else thought. Later on, she advised young singers on the importance of bring able to tune out "the noise."

She once said that her least favorite of her own recordings was the first "Forza" (the Schippers set with Tucker) because she felt she was "not in voice" for those sessions. She wasn't happy with several of her "Cosi fan tutte" live performances but she was quite proud of the recording.

One of my favorite recordings of hers is the Handel "Care selve" that opened Vol. 2 of her "Prima Donna" series. It's absolutely clean, pure, silver sound.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Mar 15, 2017, at 05:56, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Walter
> 
> This is actually what happened -
> 
> She sang the role on Opening Night of the Met 1961
> season.
> 
> I attended the second performance. which was interrupted
> for over an hour, when her voice gave out completely in the
> middle of act two. Dorothy Kirsten, who reportedly had
> retired for the night, was called at home and arrived as
> quickly as she could to sing the third act, wonderfully, I might
> add. Price gave no hint of distress in act one. She sounded just
> fine!  The date was 10/31/61.
> 
> Walter, barely a month later, on 12/4, she sang a complete
> performance at the Met,
> 
> During the Spring 1962 tour she sang the opera at both
> Cleveland and Dallas.
> 
> Walter, words matter!
> 
> Bob
> 
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