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Subject: Re: RIP Jon Vickers, 7/11/2017
From: "Steve B." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Steve B.
Date:Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:13:42 -0400

text/plain (34 lines)

Elisabeth Schwartzkopf's spiteful comment suggesting that Vickers not
singing the role on moral grounds was hypocritical (she pointed out that he
was ok with Siegmund who screwed his sister) missed the point entirely. For
Vickers it was not human behaviour that defined the morality of the role -
all men being flawed and capable of sin - but the words that they uttered.
If Vickers deemed them blasphemous and an offence to his personal beliefs
then he refused to sing them. He refused to sing Elgar's 'Gerontius' for
that reason I believe. For him opera is 'a moral institution' but 'lousy
  He held to the belief that that the link between life and the portrayal of
it onstage is an unbreakable one and he was by no means alone in that. There
are many who never make that connection - who can weep with Canio at the
same time as they betray their wedding vows - those that pontificate about
the passagio while failing to see the pomposity of characters like Ernani's
Don Silva or Baron Ochs.
  I suggest that artists like Vickers should be admired for their perception
of an ultimate morality, whatever their faith, rather than criticised
because they didn't sing the roles that offended them as opposed to singing
them for public approval and monetary gain.
Steve B.

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