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Subject: Re: Huge Voices
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 29 May 2017 23:04:40 +0000
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When Rise Stevens was asked what singer impressed her most, without hesitation she said Kirsten Flagstad, the greatest dramatic soprano voice she ever heard. Joan Sutherland's voice in the last act of Norma sounded, surprisingly, very large to my ears back then.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2017 5:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Huge Voices

My late uncle (who passed away last year at the age of 97) attended opera in Chicago since the 1930s.  He saw and heard everyone of note who appeared here, including the Met when they came here on tour.  He swore to me all my life that the most overwhelming, powerful, and gorgeous voice he ever heard in his life was Kirsten Flagstad, whom he heard regularly from 1938 until her final Chicago appearance in 1952 at Orchestra Hall (now Symphony Center.  My parents also heard her Isolde at the Opera House in 1947.  They were in total agreement with my uncle.  I wish I could have heard her myself, but I was too young.
Still, there's sufficient evidence on recordings (especially on those recorded in the late 1940s and early 1950s to add credibility to that claim.  Did she ever have any real peers?

I agree with Bob Rideout about Leonie Rysanek.  She had an upper register that sounded like a flaming harpoon. The "force of nature" sound, unfortunately, did not carry very far into the lower middle and lower section, though it improved as the years went on.  But what a top!

                                                        Les
> On May 29, 2017 at 1:53 PM Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> The Champion - Regine Crespin, hands down.
>
> Robert Merrill had an enormous sound when he chose to let
> it all out, and Tito Gobbi's "un tal bacanno in chiesa" as he
> entered Sant' Andrea della Valle was the loudest single phrase
> I ever heard the night of the famous Met Tebaldi Corelli "Tosca"
> in 1964. I had never heard him live, and I was totally unprepared
> for the tsunami he unleashed.
>
> Leonie had the most resonant and overwhelming top register of
> all. We use phrases like "force of nature" to define way too many
> things Her top was a unique "force of nature"! It had no equal
> before or since.
>
> Bob
>
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