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Subject: Re: Question re Nilsson as Senta at the Met
From: Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 1 Jun 2017 20:38:41 -0400
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>Nilsson was also announced as the Marschallin in 1971 or thereabouts by the
Met but she got nerves about being visually and dramatically convincing. She
cited Crespin as having been particularly beautiful in the role and wasn't
sure how she'd compete. Similarly. she stayed away from Ortrud because she
didn't feel she could match Varnay's powerful interpretation in the role.
>

Though Nilsson sang the Marschallin in Sweden early on, she must have
known even then that it was not for her temperamentally.  Much of the role
lies low, and there is a need for much soft singing.  Nilsson to my ears
always sounded restrained/constricted rather than soft when she sang pp
passages in BALLO, AIDA and TOSCA - with a most uncharacteristic flutter in
her voice that didn't seem to be "her".  I think she was most wise to forgo
it during her great years.  As to Ortrud - yes, she was often quoted as
saying that after Varnay, there was no point!!  Also she liked a darker
voice in the role - also her reason for not taking on Kundry.  I get the
sense that she also didn't want to be cliché - to devolve to quasi mezzo
roles when the top started to go, like Varnay and Mödl.  She went out as the
Dyer's Wife and Elektra - not within a mile of her best days vocally, but
that gleaming voice and volume still packed a wallop in the theater and gave
much pleasure right to the end.  I do not expect to hear a finer
hoch-dramatische in my lifetime.  I STILL have not recovered my hearing from
a 1969 TURANDOT - those 2 high C's in the Staircase Scene - OMFG!!!!

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