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Subject: Re: Renee Fleming and the end of opera, the NYT article.
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 5 Apr 2017 14:39:23 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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I disagree.  In the United States, not Europe, the United States, very few
people know who the hell Anna Netrebko is.  Quite a few know who Renee
Fleming is.  Maybe not as many who knew Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo or
Luciano Pavarotti, but I will bet you those who know who Renee Fleming is,
outnumber Anna Nebrebko 10-1 and I think the article meant Americans, not
Germans, not Italians, not Russians.

Donald

On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 10:41 AM, James Camner <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> There is a fascinating and revealing article in the NYT today about
> Fleming's approaching retirement:
>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/arts/music/the-diva-
> departs-renee-flemings-farewell-to-opera.html?_r=0
>
> The article must have pleased her, but maybe not, the writer explains that
> she wasn't as big a star as Beverly Sills (completely true) but does throw
> her a bone by saying she is a bigger star than Netrebko (not true!). But I
> wonder if she liked being compared to June Clever?
>
> But those things aside it was flattering and realistic and it is one of the
> only genuine assessments I've seen of the fading state of opera today. The
> diva herself takes a swipe at the "Ivory tower" mentality that has led to
> opera becoming culturally irrelevant (and irrelevant it is today,
> completely and utterly, alas).
>
> In any case, an article in 2017 that mentions Adelina Patti (and not in
> flattering terms) commands attention...
>
> On a personal note, Renee Fleming disappointed me every time I saw her in
> roles like Marguerite, Manon, Desdemona, and the others except in two
> roles, the Marschallin, and as Tatania (opposite Hvorostovsky, a great
> evening!). The most memorable Fleming experience for me was sitting in the
> Met cafeteria and hearing the rehearsal for her Desdemona debut where she
> had a moment, singing the arching plaintive music which caused everyone in
> the cafeteria to stop dead in their tracks and look up, including Andrea
> Velis who was sitting near us (he raised up his eyes in astonishment), it
> was so purely lovely. Unfortunately, I never heard her do the same thing in
> a regular Otello performance (or in anything else) and that for me sums up
> the too-cautious Fleming, so much potential that was never, IMHO, quite
> fulfilled. I always felt the diva was holding back a little, easing up on
> the throttle when she should have opened it up, but she has had a great
> career unquestionably and if she isn't the last opera star, she may well be
> the last AMERICAN opera star...
>
> James Camner
>
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