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Subject: Re: Aida from Salzburg Today
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:10:22 -0700

text/plain (73 lines)

I originally sent this on the 12th.  I am amazed there was no other posting
on this Aida broadcast.  I would have assumed that Anna Netrebko's first
Aida under Riccado Muti no less, at Salzburg, would elicited some response
on this list.  In the old days the postings would have been endless.


On Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 6:12 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I just completed listening to the Aida broadcast from Salzburg that
> included the much anticipated debut of Anna Netrebko as Aida.  It was a
> good performance but for me a bit of a mixed bag.  Of course with Maestro
> Muti and the Wiener Philharmoniker,  you are going to get an orchestrally
> gorgeous performance with superbly judged tempi and gorgeous textures from
> the orchestra and that we had in abundance.  It was beautifully conducted
> as only Muti can.
> Now, the big question - how as Anna Netrebko's first Aida?  To my ears,
> very good, very, very good.  I am sure with more performances it will get
> even better.  Vocally she was secure and did many felicitous things.  The C
> in O patria mia was well taken, not the best I have heard but fairly easy
> and held just long enough.  The rising lines at the end of the aria were
> gorgeously taken on one breath,, just the way I like it.  Elsewhere she had
> plenty of power, the voice was even and the tone beautiful.  Was she the
> best Aida I have heard?  Who knows,  I would rather hear her live in the
> role before I make that statement, but I was pleased.  My Aida's include
> Leontyne Price, the other Price (Dame Maggie), Nilsson (a fabulous Aida
> BTW), Arroyo (the best - as well sung as L Price but with a much bigger
> voice and that incredible powerful upper register that  Price lacked),
> Tomowa-Sintow (belissima) and Varady (also belissima), just to name the
> best in my experience (live).  Ekaterina Semenchuk was a fine Amneris.  The
> voice rich and powerful with the requisite authority and an easy top and
> solid lower tones.  The voice was even throughout the range and she had
> full measure of the imperious Amneris.  The judgement scene was as good as
> it gets today.
> Now, for the rest.  I have always liked Francesco Meli.  It is a beautiful
> voice and I have seen him live a few times, he is also very easy on the
> eyes, something that didn't matter today as it was an audio only
> broadcast.  That's the problem. Without the visuals, he was really not my
> idea of a Radames.  What should have been one of the best parts of the
> opera for him, Celeste Aida, showed him in uneven, unsteady voice.  He got
> better as the opera progressed even though he doesn't have the power for
> the Triumphal Scene.  The third act and final acts were better.  It is not
> really a Radames voice.  He is a beautiful lyric tenor and why he is doing
> this I do not know.  Perhaps my problem is that my first Radames' were
> Corelli. Tucker and Bergonzi (not a honker of a voice) but he had Radames
> down pat and of course, was the great Verdi stylist of his time.  He knew
> how to sing this music with a less than clarion voice.  Meli does not.\.
> The role is just a few sizes beyond his fine lyric tenor.  Luca Salsi was
> OK as Amonasro.  The voice a bit dry and lacking the power at the top a
> real Verdi baritone needs.  Belosselskiy and Tagliavini were good as Ramfis
> and the King.  Good, nothing special.
> This emerged as one of the better Aida's I have heard over the past decade
> (not really saying much LOL), not perfect but with many satisfactions,
> particularly in the pit and on the female side.  So there it is, my take.
> Donald

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