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Subject: Re: Mirella Freni as Aida - was Tosca
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:03:48 -0400
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I heard Freni and Scotto live in 2 shared "Big Girl" roles - Elisabetta di
Valois and Manon Lescaut.- both brilliantly negotiated by two
"Mastersingers."  Freni approached each by carefully balancing her
capabilities with a continuing care to maintain a beautiful sound.  Scotto
had Italian opera in her blood from Bellini through Zandonai and never
forgetting that continuum , she often threw caution to the wind with
variable vocal results but never, never without cutting to the essence of
the matter at hand.  Ecco un artista!

On Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 7:35 PM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm likely a minority but my ears and understanding of singing tell me
> that Freni didn't harm herself by singing Elisabetta or Aida. I think she
> made technical choices that made sounds I didn't love in those roles - very
> forward and persistently bright producing a degree of steeliness in the
> sound - but not damaging to the instrument.
>
> Proof of that to me was seeing her in London as Mimi in June of 1980, a
> couple years into Elisabetta and set of Aidas behind her. Her Mimi was
> velvety, luminous as opulent in the climaxes; very little changed over her
> performances a decade earlier, just bigger and fuller. A few weeks later I
> saw her as Aida in Salzburg under Karajan and it was the (to me)
> unpleasantly harsh, metallic sound.
>
> Yet a few years later, I thought she sounded wonderful as Manon Lescaut
> and Tatyana. Signs of further maturity but not of decline.
>
> At least that's how it sounded to me.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Jun 19, 2017, at 13:16, Ulrik <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:57:20 -0400, R PRADA <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Anyhoo, Freni sang Aida after Herbert von K made her an offer she could
> not refuse. Big
> > mistake and the decision was made between a rock and a hard place. She
> had to take it
> > easy after that.
> >
> > Dear Roberta,
> >
> > In what way was it a big mistake for Ms Freni to sing Aida with Mr von
> Karajan, even if her
> > voice was not a typical "Aida" voice? She still had a very long career
> with beautiful singing
> > right to the end. She sang Aida again, at least in Houston with Domingo
> and Ghiurov some
> > years later, she had great successes in another punishing Verdi part
> (Elisabetta) - and also
> > did Elvira in Ernani (which was probably less of a success but not bad
> in my view, given her
> > voice type). She sang other heavy roles later on, such as Fedora and
> Manon Lescaut - and
> > Lisa etc.
> >
> > So I really wonder what you mean by "big mistake" - and also by "she had
> to take it easy
> > after that".
> >
> > Kind regards
> >
> > Ulrik
> >
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