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Subject: Re: Question re Nilsson as Senta at the Met
From: Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Lane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Jun 2017 14:09:27 -0400
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Due to the strike which postponed the opening of the 69-70 season, Nilsson
did not sing Ariadne at the Met as she had agreed to. (Also lost was the
original cast for Der Freichutz, a Bing favorite, which originally was
meant to have Janowitz, Gedda, Berry and Bohm conducting) She was also down
for the new Siegfried, which was postponed and I think Salome.

In any case, she agreed to sing the Marschallin for Goran Gentele in the
73-74 season and was happy not to have to after the cancellation by
Ligendza of Isolde, and the Met imploring her to take them on, hence we got
the one and only performance with Vickers at the Met, 1/30/74.....

Christa Ludwig sang one of the performances and then Evelyn Lear. At the
curtain call after the first act, I noticed Tom Stewart, his beard
glistening, standing, clapping and weeping over his wife's wonderful
performance

Bing had apparently approached Birgit about Frau but she could not decide
which role suited her. Bing went ahead and cast the incredible group that
premiered the work in 66. Rysanek urged her to think about the Dyer's Wife.
According to the story, while staying with Leonie and her husband in
Vienna, she found the score for the Dyer' Wife on her pillow rather than
the customary chocolate, spent hours looking it over and came down to
breakfast convinced.. I was lucky enough to see her do it in Vienna in
January, 1977 with Leonie and Bohm and Berry....

Mike

On Thu, Jun 1, 2017 at 8:38 PM, Michael Delos <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> >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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