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Subject: Re: Caballe (my evil thoughts), was 1973 Norma
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:10:02 -0400
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Amen to what AI wrote about the importance of words in opera.  Clear, incisive articulation of 
the text gives the musical line energy and drama.  One can sense this even if one does not 
understand the details of what is being sung.  Furthermore, enunciating clearly while singing 
is a SKILL just like producing a solid high note or good legato: it can be learned.  
Unfortunately, too few singers know how to enunciate text effectively and with meaning.  I've 
always been a bit amazed by how a singer can talk about a character or a role in an interview 
and really seem to have a grasp of character and drama, and then in performance they 
communicate nothing, most often because they don't know how to use text and tone in 
service of the drama.  Ideas are useless unless you have the technique to communicate them.   

Caballe's (and Sutherland's) faulty, careless diction is one of the reasons I don't generally 
listen to their complete recordings.  They just don't hold my interest.  Sutherland was a 
spectacular singer, one of the greatest ever, but I prefer listening to her in "highlights" rather 
than full performances.  (Her Turandot is an exception to this, largely because her diction is 
so good - maybe because she was singing in a new genre and style and away from Bonynge.  
I don't think she ever sang a line more dramatically than "Si, la speranza che delude 
sempre!"  Wonderfully bitchy!

MDW      

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