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Subject: Re: Leontyne Price - Another perspective
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:32:40 +0000
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After hearing so much criticism of Price's late career, I suppose I did confuse voice with vocalism. IMO though from the late 70's on, though Price's top voice still sounded great, but the rest of the voice had a more clouded and less than beautiful sound on a consistent basis. In my observation, most middle aged sopranos tend to have vocal problems in their upper voice but some like: Price, Ryseneck, Nilsson, did lose some beauty and security in the mid and lower range. Amara, Freni, Sutherland, and some others maintained a secure upper voice and beauty and security throughout their vocal range. Being no expert, this is just what I have heard from some great singers, who I greatly admired. IMHO, Nothing gets better with age-lol.  By the way, why should we still be limited to only two posts a day, as there seems to be fewer posts than in the past?


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [OPERA-L] Leontyne Price - Another perspective

Yesterday, it was asserted that Leontyne Price was among the
many sopranos whose voices did not hold up well as they
aged. I believe the cutoff was anout 45.

I had used my two and so could not respond, so here I am today,
to tell you that I disagree very much with that assessment.
In fact I think that she is the dictionary definition of why we should
separate voice and vocalism in our critical discussions of singing.
There is almost unanimous agreement that her voice and her
use of that glorious instrument approached perfection, most of
the time, during the first decade of her career. But, something
happened in the mid sixties that had nothing to do with that
voice. It was all about how she used it, and it was, in the
view of many, including yours truly, not a good thing. The
mannerisms were maddening - slurring of both words and music,
dramatic outbursts that became the stuff of comic relief, and what
seemed to me a rejection of the discipline that had been the
hallmark of her finest work.

But the voice remained miraculously intact, even until her astounding
farewell as Aida in 1985. If the bottom and middle ranges gradually
lost some resonance, it was to no great degree. The top, which was
always her glory, was undiminished, and remained so, more or less,
for the many years that she continued her concert and recital career.

There are times when "voice" and "vocalism" are conflated, but most
of the time they are not. In the case of Leontyne Price, they were
emphatically not There was the voice, which remains a legend for the
Ages, and then there was the vocalism, whose mannerisms, in her later
years, could have been, at times, the stuff of Saturday Night Live!

Bob

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