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Subject: Re: LUISA MILLER recordings
From: albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:albert innaurato <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:22:50 -0500

text/plain (132 lines)

O brave Takis (one of my favorite Opera-L-ers over these last years) I did
see all the Carreras, Ricciarelli Luisa Miller performances at the Met.
That run of Luisa began with Ricciarelli but with Carlo Bini of historical
import (anyone who saw his Enzo with Eva Marton as La Gioconda when he
substituted for Domingo has never ever forgotten it. It featured Madame
Marton hauling a terrified little tenor around the stage, then sitting on
him, then weeping as she usually did for Suicidio and sobbing afterwards
until he tiptoed on -- late -- and she took a step toward him and he tried
to run off stage as she with Amazonian power hurled herself after him and
yanked him back on, and poor Mo. Patene yelling at the audience etc.) and
an aging MacNeil (who none the less went on forever).

There was also one with the great John Alexander. Those with Carreras were
crowded. But I have to disagree with you. I not only saw her a lot but knew
her and the irresistible Valentini-Terrani in Italy before either had
become famous. They were big adorable Italian girls and hilarious.

Ricciarelli did NOT have a big voice ever as far as I heard. When fat she
had a beautiful lyric sound that carried but it was a soft focused voice
and big climaxes were not hers to command (she was the story of opera
recording -- the timbre was all -- not the impact in a big house). When she
lost all the weight she stopped supporting her sound. For a few years, the
timbre was intact and very lovely but it was even smaller. In the 1980s she
started to croon. The best I saw her do then was a Lucia at Covent Garden,
which was lovely and keenly felt but her voice was no bigger than Roberta
Peters'. She was usually booed at La Scala (a join the club situation) but
by the mid-eighties, she was really uneven and had become unsteady. By her
Otellos in 1990 with Carlos Kleiber, she crooned the whole thing, unable to
fill lyric lines with sound and a loss at climactic moments. At the Met,
her best innings had been Mimi (her debut) and Micaela with the greatest
Crespin, including one with Bill Lewis who Madame C didn't try to castrate
as she did Placido.

I wasn't one of the big Jose fans (well, I WAS big), but Sereni who joined
up when Carreras came in was very moving as Miller if not Golden Age in
vocal quality. He and Katia were very compelling in the last act.

Poor Anna never sang the role live and would have been on the small side.
At the Met old and new I'm sure Ponselle made an impact, and Scotto did
too. Millo had vocal size. My favorite of all these (including Caballe) was
Adriana Malipionte in '71 who sang gorgeously, phrased exquisitely, had
plenty of thrust for the scena and was heart breaking in act three. The
broadcast circulates with John Alexander and MacNeil.

There was also Silvia Mosca. She sang a Luisa the night after a man had
thrown himself off the highest balcony into the orchestra section during a
Macbeth. Unlike the person who spread ashes last season and shut down the
house for both afternoon and evening performances, he actually almost
killed three dowagers because he landed on seats they had just vacated to
use the facilities. But that was a heartier (or less litigious) America, he
just killed the matinee. Before that evening's performances the then house
manager, called Fred Plotkin, showed me the broken seats and the plentiful
blood stains.

It began as a poorish performance and Mosca was nervous (as she had been at
her debut) but she and Bergonzi (getting on, this was 1988) were stunning
in act three. They captured the intense emotional outpouring in this music,
it's despair and mourning as I've never seen it anywhere, pulling the
reasonable but not ideal Wolfgang Brendel and the sluggish conductor, Nello
Santi, into their world. Bergonzi, extra breaths and all, was astounding,
singing with an Otello like force and delivering that final line, which can
seem silly, with stunning intensity, was simply great. But she held her
own. Her career though went nowhere.


On Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 6:23 PM, Takis Pavl. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> The classic RCA recording was also my introduction to the opera and I
> still love it but over the years I've found Moffo to be too light for the
> dramatic moments of her role like "Tu puniscimi o signore" where her voice
> sounds under pressure. "Lo vidi" is her best moment and as a lyric
> coloratura the scena is a piece of cake for her.
> Her shortcomings however become even more obvious when you hear a heavier
> voice tackle the role and that's what happened to me when I heard Caballe
> in her Decca recording. I was skeptical because it was recorded in 1975, a
> year after her stomach surgery that affected her top notes but I barely
> notice the beat on the highest notes that was to become her nemesis in
> later years. The Scala performance only a year later already shows her in
> trouble so the earlier live performance with Tucker is to be preferred. But
> I consider her studio recording one of her best Verdi recordings and with
> Pavarotti also in good form they're wonderful.
> Luisa Miller seemed to have been in fashion in the 70s as there were so
> many productions in all the major opera houses San Francisco, the MET,
> Covent Garden, La Scala, Torino etc. The young Riccarelli is irresistible
> and with Pavarotti in San Francisco (1974) or with Carreras in Torino
> (1976) she's perhaps even more moving than Caballe and not less capable of
> dealing with the more dramatic moments of the role. Sadly the studio
> recording captures her at the end of her prime years when the top was
> already spreading too much and Domingo isn't my first choice for Rodolfo.
> The performance captured on video however shows how moving she could be on
> stage. Did no one attend her Luisa Miller performances with Carreras at the
> MET in 1978? The reviews were excellent.
> Takis
> |  | Απαλλαγμένο από ιούς.  |
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