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Subject: Re: Question to those with the longest experience
From: Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Andrew Moravcsik <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 May 2017 03:50:31 +0000
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Good questions. I'm interested to hear from the (lucky) old-timers.

Andrew Moravcsik
Princeton NJ

> On May 22, 2017, at 18:42, Geoffrey Riggs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Hello --
> 
> My experience only goes back to the Met's 1963/'64 season.  So I just missed
> out on some of the especially ample/powerful voices of the 1950s and early
> '60s in person -- Flagstad, Melchior, Traubel, Harshaw, Milanov, Del Monaco,
> Vinay, Penno, Sullivan, Schoeffler, Hotter, Pease, Callas, Varnay, Moedl,
> Grob-Prandl, Gencer, Thebom, Stignani, London, Warren, etc. -- although I am
> familiar with many of their recordings, both studio and "live".
> 
> I know that my chief question here has already been briefly referenced here
> and there in many other threads in this forum.  But I'm not sure if we've
> ever before had this question addressed so directly and exclusively to those
> old-timers still here who were lucky enough to actually hear these voices in
> person rather than over the air, or however.
> 
> Let's take someone like Carlo Bergonzi, a tenor whom I saw a number of
> times, including at the Met.  My estimation of him was that he was a
> profoundly expressive singer, a stylish musician, and possessing a voice
> that, while not ample, was not simply a lyric tenor's either.  He had a
> vocal presence in the house that could project a genuinely imposing
> authority on occasion, and for certain moments like Ernani's revelation of
> his identity in Act III, he could achieve what might be termed an "authentic
> furore".
> 
> However, I cannot pretend to know how to measure his in-person impact
> vis-a-vis the impact in person of someone like Bjoerling or Tagliavini,
> neither of whom I saw sing.  Those lucky enough to have seen _both_ Bergonzi
> _and_ Bjoerling in the house can place Bergonzi in a context denied me. 
> Similarly, those lucky enough  to have seen, say, _both_ Moedl _and_ Nilsson
> can place Nilsson in a context denied me.
> 
> How did the relative visceral impact of Bjoerling in the house compare to
> that of Bergonzi in the house?  How did the relative visceral impact of
> Moedl in the house compare to that of Nilsson in the house?  How did the
> relative visceral impact of Melchior in the house compare to the relative
> visceral impact of Vickers in the house?  How did the relative visceral
> impact of Thebom compare to that of Christa Ludwig in the house?  How did
> the relative visceral impact of Milanov in the house compare to that of
> Arroyo in the house?  --  And so on.
> 
> Clearly, the time to reap answers on these questions is right now before the
> generation with the requisite experience moves on.
> 
> Yes, I am specifically interested in answers to these specific questions
> that I've already cited above.  But that doesn't preclude personal accounts
> relating to a whole range of other similar pairings.  I am also _only_
> interested in those answers coming directly from people who _actually_ _saw_
> _both_ generations in _action_.
> 
> Again, I also welcome similar remarks relating to entirely different
> pairings from these same two generations as well.  However, again, I'm only
> interested in such accounts from that generation lucky enough to have seen
> _both_ generations in _action_.  For the purpose of this thread, I'm simply
> not interested in either recordings or videocasts.
> 
> Please, I want to hear only from those who saw in person all the artists
> being discussed.
> 
> Many thanks,
> 
> Geoffrey Riggs
> 
> www.operacast.com
> 
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