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Subject: Re: Helen Traubel: The loviiest Night of the Year
From: Jean Scarr <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:33:07 -0400
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Steve and others,  I was so fortunate to have heard her sing live at the old Met in her Wagner roles.  Flagstad had returned to Norway so Miss Traubel sang in my first Wagner opera as Elisabeth in "Tannhauser".  I then went on to hear her in several more performances during my teenage years, with Melchior as her partner.  I find it interesting about the current comments about her non-operatic endeavors because at the  time, the focus was on her achievements at the Met.  Jean
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, Aug 24, 2017 5:45 pm
Subject: Re: Helen Traubel: The loviiest Night of the Year

Don,

Agree with your assessment of Traubel in terms of the "American" pantheon.
My first exposure to her was indelible - Katisha to Groucho's KoKo in a TV
version of "The Mikado."  My long ago memories of this were reconfirmed
when I watched the DVD reissue.  No Dragon Lady was ever more Dragon...

I highly endorse the Sepia release of her Pop compilation entitled "The
Loveliest Night of the Year" and again commend Bob Kosvosky for bringing it
to the List's attention.  So many felicities and there is something about
hearing such a sumptuous voice take on a waltz.  Witness the title song, as
well as "Three o'clock in the Morning,"  "Its a Grand Night for singing,"
" Missouri Waltz,"  "Beautiful Ohio,"  Merry Widow Waltz...."  That being
said, the two I keep going back to are her renditions of "All the things
you are" and "A Perfect Day"

This release brings a buried treasure to light...if there is more, I can't
wait to hear...

Steve

On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 9:01 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Helen Traubel was plain and simple, one of the greatest voices of the
> twentieth century and one of the handful of truly great American singers.
> She had a rather strange career, mainly because of her nature - she first
> auditioned for Gatti Casazza in 1926 but turned down an offered contract
> because she felt herself unready.  She probably still felt herself unready
> when she finally accepted a Met contract to star in Damrosch's Man Without
> A Country.  Even her forays into Wagner seemed halfhearted.  She sort of
> fell into it because of Flagstad's return to Europe and Marjorie Lawrence's
> being struck down by polio.  She never received the respect she deserved.
> And of course, there was the contretemps with Bing.  He had the notorious
>  feud with Melchior and I don't think he was really interested in Traubel.
> When Flagstad returned, part of her agreeing to come back was her respect
> for Traubel and pointedly letting Bing know that she would not push Traubel
> out.  They shared Ring Cycles and Flagstad did Fidelio and Traubel sang the
> Marschallin.  Traubel herself was probably not interested in staying any
> longer, she certainly went out of her way to piss Bing off.  I'm sure she
> realized the top was continuing to disappear and in those days, star
> dramatic soprano's didn't usually become mezzo's or contraltos.  Very few
> went that route.  They usually retired.  In many ways, she was like Eileen
> Farrell. Similar voice types, similar personalities.  Both immense natural
> gifts.
>
> Donald
>
> On Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 5:02 PM, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> Call me an “easy” mark but Helen Traubel’s voice and manner in these
>> popular songs is Drop Dead Gorgeous – I expected more of a “shot and beer”
>> girl hiking up her skirts – but she never compromises the integrity and
>> grandeur of her essential gift.  There is the occasional misjudgment –
>> “Poor Butterfly ”  becomes “Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta voix…”   but even in
>> that case the voice is so opulent and the delivery so generous  you have
>> no
>> choice but to give in.
>>
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>

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