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Subject: Re: Bjorling-Bergonzi, et al
From: Peter Hammond <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 26 May 2017 02:01:35 -0400
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Sorry for the typo, especially when it results in the disrespect to a singer of getting his or her name wrong: of course here I was referring to Sondra Radvanovsky.



-----Original Message-----
From: pchflj <[log in to unmask]>
To: kable <[log in to unmask]>; OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, May 25, 2017 8:15 pm
Subject: Re: Bjorling-Bergonzi, et al



Eileen Farrell seems to be coming up recently in several contexts. I mentioned her a few days ago as one of the singers whose diction in English was admirable. Someone else talked about the size and volume of her voice, as does Kenneth in this post. It reminded me of an anecdote Farrell told (true, of course!) wherein she was at home in Staten Island, famously the housewife to a policeman, when a plumber was doing some work in the kitchen. She was puttering around listening to the Met broadcast of Aida. When "Ritorna Vincitor" came on she burst into the aria along with the unnamed singer. The plumber said, and here I don't have the exact quotation, "Hey, you're pretty good!" Imagine hearing that and thinking you were listening to any random woman singing along to the radio!


To add to the discussion on this topic, I've never heard Sandra Radvanovsky live so I can't comment on her voice (love it on broadcasts though). For live singers, I've heard many wonderful ones even in my own experience that is much more limited than some who comment here, but only two have stood out purely for the size of their voices. One was Eva Marton as Aida in San Francisco in the 1970s, and the other was Birgit Nilsson as Isolde, also in SF in the 1970s. When I describe the physical sensation that went through my body when Nilsson projected her voice at me (a lucky coincidence of seating, I now believe), people smile indulgently as if I'm making it up or being metaphorical. I am surely not; it was a physical shudder that I will never forget. I'm mainly an armchair opera fan and I listen to a lot of old recordings, but occasionally there is something that only a live performance can deliver.





-----Original Message-----
From: Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, May 25, 2017 7:28 pm
Subject: Re: Bjorling-Bergonzi, et al

A well-known anecdote about Eileen Farrell:

In his book ''The American Opera Singer,'' the critic Peter G. Davis
recounts a story of Ms. Farrell's first performances with the powerhouse
tenor Franco Corelli in ''La Forza del Destino'' in Philadelphia. After one
duet, Mr. Corelli raced offstage shouting in Italian: ''Who is this woman?
She has made me deaf!''

On Thu, May 25, 2017 at 10:15 PM, Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Is it true what I heard said about Sondra Radvanovsky's voice onstage?
> That it was so loud and powerful that it actually hurt the ears of her
> stage
> partners.
>
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