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Subject: Re: Sirius Met 1964 'Don Carlo'
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 5 Sep 2017 21:45:42 +0000
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I have heard from so called witnesses and have read that Loretta was a royal pain to just about every one, especially Franco. Why did he put up with her all those years? Sounds like a very strange relationship, to me. I do think It unfair to claim that operatic standards are higher today, than at the time of that broadcast. True, Leonie did not have an ideal Verdi voice, but I did hear sing a fine performance  of Amelia in Ballo, with Bergonzi on You Tube. The night I saw her as Tosca, she was in good voice.  Singers have their off days vocally and personal problems, as well, which can affect a performance. As Bob said it was probably Loretta that caused the problem in the Auto da fe scene.  I always thought Tozzi was a very fine singer, but his voice did not particularly appeal to me. My favorite Italian bassos were, Siepi then,  Giotti.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 4:18 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] 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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