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Subject: Re: Sirius Met 1964 'Don Carlo'
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 5 Sep 2017 16:26:08 -0400
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She sang Tosca at the Met as late as 1979, after which she stuck to German, Russian and Czech. 

Trivia question (to which I don't know the answer): what singer performed in the most languages? (Not just at the Met). 


-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bob Rideout
Sent: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 4:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Sirius Met 1964 'Don Carlo'

I was at the performance and have a lot to say.

Corelli was vocally ok that day, but really out of sorts. Most of his energy was spent arguing with Lotetta, who so much occupied his time that when Leonie announced Carlo's presence in the Auto da fe, he was nowhere to be seen, so Adler just marked time until he finally appeared. It was horrendous! He behaved as though he could not have cared less.

Tozzi was dreadful, woefully out of tune.

Uhde was very effective.

You did not mention Nicolae Herlea, who was magnificent. It was his house debut and he was very impressive. A very underrated singer!

Leonie was in pitchless voice except for the final B, which was a thrill.
It was her last Met Verdi prformance but not her last Italian role She sang Tosca a number of times, both well and "not so much".

All in all, an interesting, but not great day, excepting Herlea, who was most impressive and received a huge ovation.

Bob

On Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 15:58 David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I listened to a 1964 'Don Carlo' yesterday with Corelli and Rysanek, 
> and it was a salutary chastening for someone like myself who is apt to 
> go on about 'the good old days'.  I must have listened to the original 
> broadcast as a young teenager and thought it tremendous.  What a 
> difference fifty years makes.
>
> Rarely have I heard such incompetent conducting as that achieved by 
> Kurt Adler.  Everything that could conceivably go wrong did -- lack of 
> ensemble, rhythmic unsteadiness, quacking brass players.  Terrible, 
> and the score cut to bits, one excision in the garden trio almost 
> funny in that it could not have been more than half a minute of music.
>
> There was Corelli, in extraordinarily great voice, but a complete law 
> unto himself.  Entrances that were either early or late, Adler unsure 
> how long he would hold any given high note, a missed cue in the 
> auto-da-fe scene that produced a momentary halt in the performance.  
> The frantic prompter finally gave up.
>
> And Rysanek.  There must be many threads here about her Italian roles.
> This
> was apparently the last Italian performance she gave at the Met, and 
> it was not hard to see why.  People always comment on her wavering 
> intonation, which was certainly in evidence -- embarrassingly so in 
> the big aria at 'il riposo profondo' when she was a good half tone 
> lower than the orchestra when it entered.  But it was the quality of 
> tone she produced in the middle that I found most strange, a kind of 
> hollow fog horn sound that at times gave the impression of a male 
> singer.  I think she sounded so peculiar that she rather unnerved 
> Corelli in the first duet.  And four years earlier she had produced 
> audience hysteria with her famous Senta.  You would never guess from 
> this performance that she was to sing in the house for another 
> thirty-two years as one of its most beloved stars.  I think she must 
> have done some restudying before her triumph in 'Frau'.  Her middle 
> voice obviously was never her glory, but for the rest of her career I 
> don't recall it ever sounding as weird as in this Elisabetta.  (If I 
> am calculating correctly her whole career lasted no less than 
> forty-seven years.)
>
> The singer who surprised me the most was Tozzi, who I always think of 
> as very good at everything he did, master of the legato line.  But he 
> was overwhelmed vocally by Phillip, and compensated by hammy 
> distortions of the music.  He could not, however, disguise the fact 
> that he did not really have a low F.
>
> Uhde was reputed to have made a tremendous impression as the 
> Inquisitor, but the sound was very light and the lower notes out of 
> tune.
>
> In any event, I guess I should start appreciating more the 
> exponentially higher musical standards we expect in opera today.
>
> David Kubiak
>
-----

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