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Subject: Re: The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming’s Farewell to Opera
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 6 Apr 2017 20:24:08 +0100
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I think the Price/Fleming comparison is very apt. I don't think Fleming's voice was more of a lyric instrument than Price's, but Price made some technical choices that steered her into the spinto Fach that Fleming was clearly not about to do. Having heard both live a number of times, I think Fleming's upper register was considerably bigger and more powerful than Price's, WHEN she decided to sing out full tilt, which Fleming rarely did.

Much more than Price, Fleming let her voice ride on "idle power" except for a few, carefully planned climaxes. When she did let it out, as she was inclined to do on the high B at the climax of the "Rosenkavalier" trio, it was a Sierra waterfall of sound that tended to blow Sophie, who had started that note first, right off the stage.

Act 2 of "La Traviata" also occasioned some of the full tilt magnificent sounds that gave a glimpse of a whole different singer, if she had chosen to put herself more into that mode.

The comparison to Price probably emerges most strikingly in Fleming's singing of the soprano part in the Verdi Requiem. In the Gergiev recording (the one many people refused to listen to because of Philips pushing Andrea Bocelli as tenor soloist) sometimes Fleming sounds amazingly like Price.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 6, 2017, at 18:46, kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Several years ago, along with several friends, I saw a video of a Fleming / Hvorostovsky concert from Moscow. Fleming sang something from “Trovatore” (don’t recall if it was one of the arias or the Leonora / Luna duet). At the conclusion I turned to the others in the room and commented that she had sung it very beautifully - but that I hoped she’d never sing it or anything else that heavy again. My friends agreed. We felt that it was just too much for her essentially lyric voice.
> 
> I have seen and greatly enjoyed her as Thais, The Marschallin and Desdemona (the best, IMO, since Tebaldi) in addition to several other roles. Her Susannah in the Floyd opera was remarkable and her Mozart Susanna was among the best. Indeed, she’s eminently well suited for much Strauss & Mozart. (She was exceptional in “Capriccio.”) Alas, she never sang Arabella here in Chicago - our loss.  Her Marguerite was, for me, a waste of her talents and Lucrezia Borgia was quite wrong for her. I’m told that Imogene was another mistake, as well as Violetta. Her Manon was beautifully sung. I saw her Louise in San Francisco and was greatly bored by the opera, although she sang quite well. (Jerry Hadley, unfortunately, was already in decline by that time).
> 
> For me, Fleming is among the great sopranos of recent years.
> 
> Kurt Youngmann
> 
>> On Apr 6, 2017, at 12:22 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Price tried to encourage Fleming tp let out her sound more as she thought Renee's voice was capable of sounding larger and able to take on heavier roles.
> 
> 
> “ . . . I am a Humanist because I think humanity can, with constant moral guidance, create a reasonably decent society. I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril. I do not believe that pure reason can solve the perceptual problems unless it is modified by poetry and art and social vision. So I am a Humanist. And if you want to charge me with being the most virulent kind—a secular humanist—I accept the accusation.” - James A. Michener
> 
> 
> 
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