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Subject: Re: More on Forza at the Met
From: Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald S <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 23 May 2017 08:24:46 -0400
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It must also be noted that the original Berman designers included the inn scene as these were constructed for the 1975 revival in which the inn scene was restored. This makes me think that the original planning included the inn scene but somewhere along the lines it was relegated to the scrap heap. My gut reaction is that since singers such as Stignani, Barbieri, Simionato and Cossotto regularly sang Preziosilla, the decision had something to do about obviating the need for a star mezzo and relegating the role to a second stringer or comprimaria. This vast opera contains much of Verdi's greatest, beautiful and most interesting music. It lacks the absolute coherence and consistent genius of Don Carlo but it is a fascinating work of great beauty. With a Ponselle, Rethberg, Milanov, Tebaldi, Caruso, Tucker, Corelli, de Luca, Warren, Merrill or Bastianini, not to mention a Mardones, Pinza or Siepi, it is a work of transcendent beauties. 

Donald. 

Sent from my iPad

> On May 22, 2017, at 22:10, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I did some spot checking on some Met broadcasts of "Forza" starting in 1943, with the 
> revival under Bruno Walter.  (Forza was not performed at the Met between 1935 and 1943.)  
> The review of the opening night of the 1943 performance notes that the Met was using the 
> German performing edition by Franz Werfel and that the overture was placed after the first 
> scene, so that particular practice obviously started pre-Bing.  Checking the broadcast, the 
> 1943 performance includes the Inn Scene but omits the "Sleale!" duet, the act moving 
> directly from "Egli e salvo" to the Camp Scene and ending with "Rataplan!"  
> 
> As has been noted, during the Bing years the overture followed the opening scene and the 
> Inn Scene was always omitted.  The "Compagni" chorus and the "Sleale" duet were usually 
> performed but the placement varied: in the 1952 and 1956 broadcasts "Sleale" comes 
> before "Rataplan!" but in 1960 it ends the act and the "Compagni" chorus precedes the 
> Camp Scene.  in 1954 we get "Compagni" before the Camp Scene but both "Sleale" and 
> "Rataplan" are cut.  (Was "Sleale" cut to accommodate the tenor, Gino Penno?)   "Rataplan" 
> is also cut in the 1972 broadcast, possibly because it was beyond Nedda Casei's ability to 
> bring off. 
> 
> Starting in 1975, the "Sleale" duet regularly follows the Camp Scene and ends Act III.  The 
> Inn Scene is also restored, although the little "Compagni" chorus before Alvaro's recitative 
> preceding "Sleale" is apparently always omitted.  
> 
> Pre-1943 (the earliest Forza broadcast), it is possible to infer from some of the reviews 
> which scenes were performed and which were cut.  A March 1919 review from Philadelphia 
> (where the Met performed one night a week) suggests that the "Sleale" duet was omitted, 
> because in reviewing Caruso's performance, the reviewer specifically mentions "O tu che in 
> seno" and the "Solenne in quest'ora," and "Le minaccie" duets with the baritone, but no 
> mention is made of the "Sleale" duet, which if included would surely have been mentioned.  
> On the other hand, Caruso did record the duet with De Luca, so....  The Inn Scene is 
> specifically mentioned in several reviews, so that scene appears to have been performed, at 
> least intermittently, from 1918 until the Berman production under Bing.  A 1926 review 
> from Cleveland mentions that the overture was played "between the first and second acts" 
> (scenes?).  So this practice apparently dated back quite a ways.
> 
> Regarding the "Sleale" duet, a review of a tour performance in Baltimore in 1928 mentions 
> that the third act "includes the intensely dramatic moments between [Alvaro and Carlo] 
> when their real identity is disclosed."  Is this a reference to "Sleale?"
> 
> The opera apparently was restaged for the revival in 1930, but the only oddity noted was 
> that the "Rataplan" chorus was sung by an octet of women rather than as a solo for 
> Preziosilla!   
> 
> So, the performing editions of "Forza del Destino" at the Met have varied considerably over 
> the years.  We should be grateful that at least we now get the Overture in its proper place!
> 
> MDW
> 
> 
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