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Subject: Re: Tosca in general
From: Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:38:52 -0400
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I believe there are three: two in Act 2 (at the end of Tosca's offstage
"cantata" and at "*Ah*, cessate il martir") and the famously exposed one in
Act 3 ("Io quella lama gli piantai nel cor").

On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 4:59 PM, Ximena Sepulveda <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Pardon my ignorance, but where are the many high Cs for the soprano in
> Tosca?
>
> On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 4:53 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Some years ago I either read or heard some operatic expert say that Tosca
> > will always be around because most sopranos want to sing the title role.
> > Ponselle probably avoided the role due to the many high C's, just as she
> > avoided Aida. I think that perhaps Freni was a bit too cautious, except
> for
> > Elvira in Ernani which IMO was not at all suited for her voice. If
> Albanese
> > and Kirsten were outstanding as Tosca, I would think that Freni could be
> > too. The same is true with Butterfly. I saw Kirsten the night she came
> out
> > of retirement, in her mid-late sixties, and gave a wonderful performance
> > with Bergonzi and Mc Neil. That could have been the oldest Tosca cast of
> > all time? Whatever all three were great. I was also very fond of
> Crespin's
> > Tosca the night I saw her. Both she and Rysenak sang the role very well,
> > but acted very differently. Leonie was all over the stage, whereas Regine
> > commanded the stage with minimal movement. Leonie was better on top,
> > Regine- mid and lower voice. Nilsson sang the role effortlessly, but her
> > acting at times, was a bit silly.  Tosca may be a trashy little thriller
> to
> > some but to most sopranos, a must sing role.  I doubt that Callas really
> > disliked the role as she performed it 51 times, I would think, throughout
> > her career.  It was certainly her best role the last five or more years
> of
> > her career. I once saw Albanese and some other singers say that, vocally,
> > Tebaldi was the best Tosca they had seen.
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]
> >
> > on behalf of Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Sunday, June 18, 2017 4:22 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [OPERA-L] Tosca in general
> >
> > It kind of surprises me (a little) that Tosca should generate so much
> > discussion here.
> > Perhaps I've tired of it, but I of course was greatly thrilled by it when
> > I first heard it as a
> > teen.  Of course I was raised on the legendary Callas/di Stefano/Gobbi -
> > de Sabada
> > recording, but I also later acquired those Tosca recordings with Tebaldi,
> > Milanov, Caballe,
> > Freni, Price, and others.
> >       Denounce me as a Philistine if you will, but I have a hard time
> > wrapping my head
> > around the fact that every great soprano with an even moderate sized
> voice
> > has taken on
> > Tosca.  Rosa Ponselle was a very wise artist.  She is the only major
> great
> > soprano who,
> > to my knowledge, never went near it.  Freni recorded it twice, but (also
> > to my
> > knowledge) never attempted Tosca onstage.
> >       The role itself, while glamorous and containing the "Visi d'Arte",
> > is to my ears very
> > punishing for the soprano voice.  Of course, it's the second act that's
> so
> > dangerous, what
> > with all that screaming and carrying-on with Scarpia to be interrupted by
> > the need for a
> > perfectly beautiful and controlled vocal line for the aria, followed by
> > more screaming and
> > carrying on to the end of the act ------ which makes me wonder why so
> many
> > truly great
> > sopranos have chosen to undertake it.  The third act is no piece of cake
> > either.
> >       I was very disappointed that Sondra Radvanovsky choose to do Tosca
> > on the stage. In
> > my opinion, I can't see why a notable Norma would even want to bother
> with
> > Tosca. Most
> > of Callas' Toscas were at the end of her career, with just a small number
> > peppered during
> > her prime years (the Met, where Bing offered her little else other than
> > Violetta and Lucia
> > and those debut Normas).  She herself admitted her dislike for the role.
> >  Albanese, who
> > actually had a huge enough top (surprisingly), managed to achieve a good
> > success with it
> > at the Met in 1952 and 1957).  Tebaldi had the beauty of appearance, a
> > huge voice, and
> > could manage the top Cs well enough prior to 1960.  After that, the
> > extreme uppermost
> > portion of her voice (B and C) was a matter of pot luck.  But she still
> > could deliver a
> > grand and valid Tosca.  Finally, despite two complete studio recordings
> > (and a 1962
> > performance on Sony from the Met), Leontyne Price also discarded the
> role.
> >      The best Tosca I ever heard onstage was Regine Crespin, who produced
> > a second act
> > (with Gobbi) that remains forever burned into my brain ------- and her
> > voice at the time
> > was huge and abundant right up to the top C.  But by the late 1960's, she
> > dropped the
> > role and never made a commercial recording of it.  I never saw Callas do
> > it, except on
> > those two videos of Act II from 1958 and 1964), but I can certainly see
> > why she caused
> > so much excitement in it).
> >      Dorothy Kirsten is to me an amazing and vastly under-rated soprano.
> > She sang all
> > the Puccini roles with great distinction, stopping only at Turandot.  How
> > she managed it is
> > still a mystery to me.  I think she was a victim of bad timing (singing
> in
> > a generation that
> > already had Callas, Tebaldi, Milanov, Steber, Price, Crespin, etc.)
> >      Bottom line:  Tosca can be as dangerous for the voice as Turandot.
> > It's a very "big
> > sing" and I think it's popularity has encouraged a lot of sopranos to
> > undertake it, and
> > some have paid a price.  Smarter artists try to sing it as little as
> > possible.  Others should
> > follow Ponselle's and Freni's example and not sing it at all.
> >
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