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Subject: Re: Sirius 'Trovatore'
From: "David M. Wagner" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David M. Wagner
Date:Wed, 30 Aug 2017 07:43:18 -0400
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Re Merrill's voice darkening and his lower range improving in that period: he told my dad in those days that his big late-career ambition was to sing Boris.

That didn't happen, of course, but he did close out his Met career ca. '74 with a run of Scarpias that were fantastic - way better than the ones he had done about a decade earlier, and well acted, bc he put real effort into the dramatic side.

-David Wagner


Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 29, 2017, at 1:17 PM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I will take a guess at this.  First of all, the mezzo was Biserka Cvejic.
> At best, she was acceptable.  Usually, less than that.    As for Tucker and
> Merrill.  Those violent accents which became more accentuated as he grew
> older are what always bothered me about Tucker.  I used to call his vocal
> line bumps and grinds.  Early on and mid career, of course it wasn't so.
> The vocalism was gorgeous and the legato could be exemplary.  But by the
> late 60's early 70's, he was sort of the late Leontyne Price of tenors as
> his exaggerations of the vocal line became more and more.  But like Price,
> he could also produce gorgeous legato lines that would be the envy of his
> colleagues.  Taste got the best of him.  As for Merrill, less so.  The
> voice had darkened with a lower range that was superior to most of his
> Verdi baritone colleagues and that may be why you think he might have
> lowered Il balen.  Generally, he sang things in key.  Again, I don't have
> this in front of me and it's been years since I heard it so I am guessing.
> Yes, Ed would be an invaluable source here.
> 
> Donald (L'altro)
> 
>> On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 8:39 AM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> I listened to a '67 'Trovatore' yesterday with Arroyo, Tucker, Merrill, and
>> that terrible Slavic mezzo Bing used to hire.  Arroyo was quite good, but
>> the two men sang with such violent vocal accents that the effect sometimes
>> approached the Marx brothers.  But my question is about 'Il balen'.  It
>> sounded low to me.  Did the Met transpose it for Merrill late in his
>> career?
>> It's not an aria I associate with that treatment.  (I miss Ed Rosen with a
>> question like this; I'd have an answer in five minutes.)
>> 
>> Thanks.
>> 
>> David Kubiak
>> 
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