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Subject: Opera in the "vernacular"
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 20 May 2017 14:00:22 -0400
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Until the end of WWII it was a very common practice to present
opera in the language of the country in which it was being
performed. Or, in the case of Latin America, Italian, which
was close enough to Spanish and Portugese to be generally
understoood.  True for Iberia as well.

The United States and Covent Garden were exceptions, more or
less.

Leonie Rysanek learned her Verdi roles in German and recorded
scenes from Aida in that language as late as the fifties. The
transition in Germany and Austria was slow, and no less than
Jess Thomas, an American, sang Radames, excepting Celeste Aida,
in German at the Met in the sixties because that was how he
learned and perforned it

To end it, I wouldn't blame Bing; it was a widespread tradition
for most of the history of this thing we call opera. It was, in fact
variable, but it was very common, probably about as common as
hearing it in its original tongue.

That is not an endorsement. but it is a fact!

Bob

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