LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


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


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

Subject: Leontyne Price - Another perspective
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 16 Mar 2017 08:40:20 -0400

text/plain (45 lines)

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!


OPERA-L on Facebook:
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:

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



CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager