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Subject: Re: Tebaldi Sings Callas (was Re: Tebaldi's (in)famous 1963 'Adriana')
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:49:34 -0700
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I think some of you are missing the point entirely.  The Tebaldi Festival
and subsequent unreleased recordings were intended as a desire for her to
sing and record some rep she had done gloriously in the past (Wagner), some
things she never did (Norma, Sonnambula & Nabucco) and some things that
would have suited her admirably at this late stage in her career.  Tebaldi
had been asked to add Santuzza (she was afraid of the Met staging - too
many steps - she had childhood polio), Charlotte in Werther and who knows
maybe others.  She chose to sing all of this in Italian as she was of a
generation where the words mattered and she was too self conscious of her
French.  I understand she did speak French and I am certain French critics
would have been kindly towards her but she rightly knew that Anglo-Saxon
critics (American and British) probably would have torn her Italian
accented French to shreds).  She probably could have extended her career
for at least a decade had she chosen to sing mezzo-soprano roles.  I am
sure she would have been a vocally gorgeous Carmen, Charlotte and Dalila
but with the rare exception of singers like Pia Tassinari, star soprano's
of her generation and the one before, and especially a super-star like
Tebaldi, did not extend their career by singing a lower tessitura.  When
she could no longer be Tebaldi, she retired.  So, we are left with some
beautiful Bellini and I am thankful she did.  As for the Sonnambula,
Claudia Muzio, at the end of her career and life, left us with a tear
laden, heart-rending Ah non credea, and I never remember hearing anyone say
that at least that recording shouldn't have been laid down.  It is a
treasure.

Finally, as for did her personality make her ideal for "such volatile
roles"?  I heard the Gioconda and Minnie LIVE - she was a tigress.  I am
certain she would have been a superb Carmen, Dalila, etc.  Even good girls
like to be slutty on occasion.

Donald

On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 8:37 PM, daaaac <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> It was my first Liebestod and I only knew “Dolce e calmo...” for years.
>
> Donald
>
> > On Aug 15, 2017, at 8:38 PM, R Stuart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > That Tebaldi Festival is a fascinating hodgepodge. I'm not as keen as
> you on the
> > previously unreleased bel canto excerpts, but agree that the Wagner is
> excellent.
> > The Carmen bits are surprisingly good (with a few classic Tebaldi
> cackles), and the
> > Dalila arias are really, really good - dramatic and sumptuous in the
> lower register.
> > The second disc, with the Bonynge-accompanied songs, is sui generis,
> with lots of
> > Tebaldi's honey on sugar middle range.
> >
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