LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Tebaldi's (in)famous 1963 'Adriana'
From: "Takis Pavl." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Takis Pavl.
Date:Tue, 8 Aug 2017 13:09:03 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (155 lines)


Thanks for sharing that moving moment of her return to the MET stage. 

I'll agree with David. I've also listened to the infamous Adriana and can't really tell it's such a terrible night for Tebaldi. Yes, the problems that made her take a break after this production are there but it's not what I would call a dreadful performance. The are far worse performances of equally great singers in trouble and even by Tebaldi herself.

I wonder if the critics were prepared to attack this production because everyone in NY hated the idea of having Adriana staged at the MET. Funnily enough, it has been back at the MET numerous times since Tebaldi's first production for many of its subsequent prima donnas so I suppose Tebaldi's bet did work out to the MET's benefit after all. 

The fact that Tebaldi never wobbled is down to her technique. I remember reading a discussion between music critics where it was noted that all those scratchy recordings of elderly singers who reigned supreme the 19th century but had almost retired when they could record something for posterity show that even though they had lost some of their highest notes, the fundamental technical ability of singing a steady tone, a simple melodic phrase without holes in their scale remained intact. The same happened with Tebaldi, Bergonzi, Pavarotti, Caballe, Kraus, Freni whereas those who experienced wobbling problems lost or never had that very fundamental technical skill.
Takis


> >
> >> On Aug 7, 2017, at 4:35 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >> A story firmly entrenched in the operatic annals and well-known to any
> >> serious opera fan is Tebaldi's famously badgering Mr. Bing into mounting
> >> 'Adriana Lecouvreur' for her in 1963, her appearing in dreadful voice,
> >> withdrawing from the production, and then leaving the stage entirely
> for a
> >> year to recover.  I remember myself my distress at reading the NY
> critics at
> >> the time, and even her former press manager Lanfranco Rasponi calls the
> >> incident 'a debacle', and says that 'her voice was simply in terrible
> >> shape.'  That would be bad enough, but iconic artists are not known for
> >> saying negative things about themselves, and Tebaldi is quoted looking
> back
> >> at the period from late 1962 into 1963, 'The voice simply became
> heavier and
> >> heavier, until there was no more voice.'
> >>
> >> Needless to say, as a lover of Tebaldi's voice second only to Walter
> Guitan,
> >> I have always been curious about exactly what she sounded like in '63.
> The
> >> Met  finally made that possible by releasing the performance of 2/9,
> which I
> >> listened to yesterday on Sirius.  Simply put, I am at an utter loss to
> >> harmonize what I was hearing with what has been said all these years.
> Her
> >> middle voice was completely intact and flowed with all the velvet beauty
> >> that made her sound unique.  As to the top, there was one occasion in
> Act II
> >> where she actually pulled off one of her famous high pianissimi (the
> text
> >> was 'la promessa [something]'); otherwise the notes above the staff were
> >> indeed very loud, but completely solid and in tune. She had some trouble
> >> with the releases, but no worse than Milanov did her whole career.  The
> >> duets with Corelli I thought magnificent; there was exactly one note in
> >> 'Poveri fiori' that did strike me as frayed, but that was it.  The
> audience
> >> was most enthusiastic.  In short, she sounded to me more or less
> exactly as
> >> she did in her return as Mimi the next year, which the Met broadcast not
> >> long ago -- it's unclear to me what Ugo de Caro did for her.  To my
> ears the
> >> real change in her sound did not come until she decided to take up
> 'Gioconda'.
> >>
> >> (One thing that must be said, even by her detractors, is that to her
> last
> >> recital, she never, ever, wobbled, which is the single biggest factor in
> >> largely keeping me out of the opera house today.  Whether it's the
> German
> >> wing (Stemme) or the Italian (Meade), audiences have become used to a
> >> tremolo in soprano voices that I cannot abide.)
> >>
> >> It may be that Tebaldi really did suffer a collapse at a later
> performance,
> >> but the one I heard in no way corresponded to the melodramatic prose
> that
> >> has been lavished on this incident.  I would be interested if there are
> any
> >> others of us 'of a certain age' who might be able to contribute their
> insight.
> >>
> >> Thanks.
> >>
> >> David Kubiak
> >>
> >> **********************************************
> >> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> >> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> >>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> >> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> >>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> >> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
> NOMAIL
> >>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> >>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > **********************************************
> > OPERA-L on Facebook:
> > http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> > containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> > [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L
> NOMAIL
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> >
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

   

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager