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Subject: Re: What to believe? Rysanek and Isolde
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:53:43 -0700
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According to Ludwig, she sang through Isolde for both her mother and Milanov.  Both agreed that the effort was not worth it as it would eventually wreck her voice.  Milanov’s response was that while she could sing it, why?  The end result would be the shortening of her career.  Evidently Milanov and Mama Ludwig were old friends from Vienna and Ludwig used to work her roles with Milanov while in New York.  It was Milanov who helped her prepare Lady Macbeth for Vienna.  Little known fact, Milanov was engaged for Lady Macbeth at Glyndebourne in 1939 but decided to remain in the US and not risk going to Europe.  Vera Schwarz ended up singing the run.  Of course, when the Met did Macbeth it was no longer an option for Milanov.  Same with Turandot which she was contracted for in 1940 but the revival was cancelled due to the war caused unavailability of the Calaf, Jose Luccioni.  In any event, Milanov sang her last Turandots two years later in Buenos Aires.  

The what might have beens in the opera world is a fascinating subject.  Personally, I would have given anything to have heard Leonie Rysanek as Turandot.

Donald


> On Jun 14, 2017, at 10:01, albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> Max D Winter: "She said in the same interview that she always wanted to sing
> Isolde, but that Karl Bohm, one of her mentors, was adamantly opposed to
> this and told her
> that if she sang Isolde, "You will no more sing my Kaiserin."
> 
> Don't believe it. She told me (twice, with witnesses around) that Bohm had
> encouraged her to sing Isolde (as he had encouraged Tebaldi to start
> learning it when they worked together in Italy -- "for later").
> 
> According to Rysanek, she learned the role, including some sessions with
> Bohm, and then he suggested they meet when convenient and that he play and
> she sing through it -- twice. The second time was to be sure she had the
> stamina. They got through it once. "I was almost dead", she said. And he
> agreed it was not a part for her on stage.
> 
> The quote attributed to him sounds pretty silly, although he did like
> Rysanek (he was a very nasty man, not cuddly in that way at all). He had
> also encouraged her to try out Elektra. She felt she couldn't do it live,
> but jumped at the film (which nearly killed her anyway, not because of
> vocal strain but because of a strenuous physical production). He conducted
> the film.
> 
> Ludwig and Crespin were also passionate about singing Isolde. As I've heard
> it, Milanov discouraged Ludwig. Crespin studied it for a bit but was in
> crisis by 1969 and felt that the time she might have done it had passed.
> She told me that hearing Flagstad live in Paris in the early '50's had
> stunned and discouraged her but that Lubin, who adored her, had persuaded
> her that she had different but compelling abilities that suited the role.
> So she did, I think, but probably not after 1965. Lotte Lehmann also
> studied Isolde (I'm not sure she learned the whole role) but apparently
> realized she didn't have the stamina and settled for the Liebestod, of
> which she made an unforgettable recording.
> 
> AI
> 
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