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Subject: Re: Singers taking multiple roles in operas (4)
From: David Geary <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Geary <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:08:42 +0200
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Nilsson sang both Elisabeth and Venus at the Met in 1966 and it was
touted as a great sensation, although actually neither role was really a
good fit for her. It then became something of a fad, two sides of the
same coin, so to speak. At the time I happened to find an Opera News
from the 50s at the time Varnay was singing both roles, but in
alternating performances. In an interview she was asked about singing
them in the same performance. She answered that it wouldn't be a
problem, they are never on stage at the same time, and both roles
together aren't as long as one act of Isolde.  But at the end of his
life Wagner wrote both roles together in Kundry, and she would rather
wait and do that instead.

If I am correct, the roles of the Comendatore and Masetto were
originally sung by the same singer. as was Basilio and Don Curzio in
Figaro (that is why Basilio doesn't show up in the third act) and I
think Bartolo and Antonio, although that involves a very quick costume
change in the second act finale.

David

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