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Subject: Re: Subject: Re: Fascinating article with Jonas Kaufmann from Australia
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 6 Aug 2017 20:27:17 +0000

text/plain (121 lines)


I agree with your premise, though I could quibble about some
examples, and to the degree.

One example to illustrate your point - Mario del Monaco
cancelled his 59-60 Met contract (and never sang there agaiin),
which was to include a revival of Otello with de los Angeles and
Warren. The Met withdrew the revival rather than replace him
with a "lesser" light. Great Otellos, indeed, never grew on trees!
It was my first Met season and I was very disappointed!


On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 4:11 PM Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> David,
> I am very well aware of this.  I was just using the Met as an example and
> as for Otello's and Norma's, they never grew on every tree but it seemed
> that after Sutherland and Caballe, every soprano and her sister was
> attempting Norma, whether they had the goods or not.  And as for your list
> of Otello's, I would rate as superb Zenatello, Zanelli, Pertili, Merli,
> Franz and the rest to whom I would add Jacques Urlus, Jose Luccioni, and
> Georges Thill, not to mention Lauritz Melchior who sang it in many houses,
> just not at the Met.  That wasn't my point.  In any generation the list of
> viable candidates for both roles is slim.  My point is your list stretches
> from the end of the 19th century to today, that's a reach of over 120
> years.  Not that many singers considering the time span.  There are
> probably others who were superb that got lost in the dustbin of history
> that we barely remember today.  I'm not sure but going back to the list of
> major tenors, I think Tino Pattiera and Alfred Piccaver might have sung the
> role also.  I know Pattiera made recordings from Otello including the duets
> with Meta Seinemeyer.
> Perhaps I didn't express my thoughts well, my point is no matter how many
> singers there are doing Otello or Norma, for that matter, truly viable
> candidates are few, and I used its history at the Met as an example.
> Otello is a problem because the role lies mainly in the middle and there is
> such tremendous pumping of the voice in the middle with the necessity to
> also make your points at the top.  By the end of the second act (and that
> is the real killer), you have to have something in reserve to sing the
> third act, which is not easy either.   Emotionally and vocally, the role
> takes a tremendous toll.  If I had to count the truly great Otello's of the
> twentieth century, I doubt we would hit ten, maybe fifteen if we were
> lucky.
> Donald
> On Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 10:29 PM, David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >  Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >
> > "There is something to be said for this.  Otello at the Met in the 20th
> > century included Leo Slezak in 1913 and then nothing until Giovanni
> > Martinelli did it in 1938.  Then there was Torsten Ralf, Set Svanholm and
> > Ramon Vinay then Del Monaco and after him Vickers, McCracken, and
> Domingo.
> > Yes there were others, notably in  Europe Carlo Cossutta a contemporary
> of
> > Domingo but today its it becoming almost a repertory piece."
> >
> > .....
> >
> > With respect, the key phrase here-- at least you state it, it's often
> just
> > implicit hereabouts!- is "at the Met".
> >
> > Other leading 20th century Otellos would include Giovanni Zenatello,
> > Renato Zanelli, Aureliano Pertile, Francesco Merli, Paul Franz, Ivan
> > Ershov, Cesar Vezzani, Wolfgang Windgassen, Charles Craig, Giuseppe
> > Giacomini, Vladimir Atllantov.
> >
> > Plus there were tenors who took it on (apparently) creditably enough, the
> > likes of Giuseppe Oxilia, Antonio Paoli, Carlos Guichandut, Hans Kaart,
> > Renato Francesconi, Zurab Anzhaparidze, the unique (speriam!)  Frank
> > Mullings,  Franz Voelker (offstage horses neigh) , Josep Gostic, Vladimir
> > Galouzine, James King, Max Lorenz, Pier Mirando Ferraro.
> >
> > I'm sure there are more in both categories. My point is that the role's
> > casting history is nowhere near so narrow as its *Met* history.
> >
> > (Melchior also sang Otello in Chicago, I believe-- the site of
> > Martinelli's Trstan!)
> >
> > Cheers - David Shengold
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> **********************************************
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