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Subject: Steber's Desdemona
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:24:00 -0400

text/plain (29 lines)

I have been listening to a 1952 Met broadcast of "Otello" with Ramon Vinay, Eleanor Steber 
and Leonard Warren, Fritz Stiedry conducting.  It is a corker of a performance with all three 
principals in great form and fine conducting by Stiedry.  The cream of the crop is Steber, 
whose Desdemona is beautifully sung, vibrant and passionate with a great sense of character.  
The Willow Song and Ave Maria are exquisite.  What a great singer this lady was!  This is not 
a role I associate with her but it is a treat to hear.  (I have never heard Steber sing anything 
that was not a treat, at least in her prime.)  

According to the Archives, Steber only sang five performances of Desdemona at the Met in 
the 1952 season.  Two years later Tebaldi showed up on the next broadcast of "Otello."  (I'm 
listening to that performance next.)  Then in 1958, De los Angeles was the broadcast 
Desdemona.  Steber, Tebaldi, de los Angeles - that's quite a procession!  Pity Milanov didn't 
do a broadcast "Otello."  I have heard some in-house tapes but they are in pretty mediocre 
sound.  Even so, you can tell that this was a good late-career role for Milanov. 


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