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Subject: Re: Toscaitis?
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:00:25 -1000
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To my surprise, one of the most satisfying I've seen live (and I've seen most if not all of those mentioned here) was Angela Gheorghiu. I didn't expect her voice to be big enough, but at least at the ROH she projected beautifully.

I like a Tosca who looks and sounds feminine and beautiful. I'm not inclined toward the Wagnerian banshees in the role. In that regard some major voices left me cold in this part: Nilsson, Caballé (who really honked her way through it as though it were Turandot) and, more recently, Pieczonka. Rysanek was wildly exciting but vocally a mess.

Gheorghiu actually displayed a lot of the same strengths I remembered from seeing Dorothy Kirsten in the role nearly a half century ago.  She looked and moved in a winsome and appealing way that negated the potentially annoying qualities of her neediness with Mario and her self pity. Both singers also had the one thing for which Tebaldi would have bargained with the devil: a really free, blazing high C.

Max Paley
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