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Subject: Re: Milanov's !955 Ballo Live From The Met
From: Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 20 Sep 2017 17:56:21 -0400
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All joking aside, is there anything funnier than the ole gal hootin' and
holler'n through that '56 Ernani?  She can be (unintentionally) funnier
than Anna Russell and Mme Vera combined!

According to a review from the MET archives, while the fans sported "Viva
Zinka" buttons..."... this was not one of Milanov's great nights or roles,
the soprano here being passive rather than catalytic in both the plot *and
score*.  The interesting thing here is the reference to the soprano
being passive in terms of the "score"  - certainly a much more elegant way
of describing the caterwauling than my unfortunate "scrapping cat"
reference.

According to the review - and this surely indicates the performance was
comic gold on more than just a vocal basis - *"Ernani is Mario Del Monaco.
In picking out a comfortable spot on the steps, he was more tenor than
actor, but as the not-tiny **Zinka Milanov bent over his prostrate form the
need for Del Monaco being well-positioned to support both his voice and his
stage bride was obvious."*

To quote Ethel Merman -Who could ask for anything more!



On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 2:59 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Nice to hear some fair and nice comments about Milanov's voice and
> singing, especially after reading Mr Charitan's juvenile and nasty
> comments. Unfortunately, I never saw her live, but I very much enjoyed a
> Saturday matinee on the radio of her Gioconda, in the late 50's or perhaps
> the one you mentioned. I have heard many  live excerpts on You Tube and
> thought her Amelia in 1940 and a Leonora Trovatore in the early 50's to be
> among the best I ever heard. She was great on a scratchy recording of the
> legendary Chenier with Bergonzi and Bastianini the night after Warren died.
> I also think she sounds great on the live Tosca with Corelli from Convent
> Garden in 1957, age 51.  All great singers have flaws and no doubt Zinka
> had her share, but then, so did the other renowned  sopranos of her time.
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]>
> on behalf of Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 2:39 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Milanov's !955 Ballo Live From The Met
>
> A couple of things.
>
> Milanov had a ravishing voice, which remained more or less
> intact until the sixties, though the top C was very hit and miss
> by then. I saw her in five roles between 59 and her farewell -
>
> Tosca, which, outside of a fine "Vissi d'arte", was a parody
> of this thing called opera.
>
> Chenier, which was consustently fine until the very end.
>
> Gioconda, which was a triumph when I saw it in 61. She
> was in total control., and much of it was breathtaking.
>
> Otello was only ok until the last act, which was as well sung as
> I've ever heard. The less said about the visual, the better.
> and
> Cavalleria, which was my idea of what Saturday Night Live might
> do with an operatic sketch,
> but,
> when Simionato's Santuzza was over, during the incredible ovation
> that greeted her first curtain, a woman sitting in front of me
> turned to her seat mate and said "what are they carrying on
> about. Milanov is MUCH better". My jaw just dropped, but
> beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Zinka was very loved
> in New York.
>
> And - she was a lot better than some of you give her credit for.
>
> Bob
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 14:10 John Irving <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Milanov, like a few major artists at that time was singing 4 or 5
> > different major roles during a typical Met season which no doubt took a
> > toll on her voice.  Zinka was highly regarded by some major singers who
> > availed themselves of her tutelage when they were having vocal problems,
> > clearly a testament to her knowledge of singing.
> >
> >        John
> >
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > > On Sep 20, 2017, at 8:55 AM, robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > Exactly - and as adored as Zinka is, one has to acknowledge that going
> > deep
> > > into characters was not her forte. She was a rich voice and a presence
> -
> > > not to be sneezed at by anyone (I wonder if she would be as popular
> > today,
> > > with her "generalized grandeur" - thank you, Stephen). But her vocal
> > > decline - and it was a looooooong, public decline - was interesting. By
> > the
> > > early '60s, you never knew what you'd get.
> > > B
> > >
> > > On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 9:47 AM, Stephen Charitan <
> [log in to unmask]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > >> I have that '55 Ballo and the difference between the 2 veteran voices
> is
> > >> that Anderson was always a superb musician and that continued to shine
> > >> through despite the decline.  While the Zinkster could sometimes be
> > capable
> > >> of a sort of generalized grandeur, in the very next phase she might
> > sound
> > >> like an old cat scrapping for a fish head in the alley. I always felt
> > even
> > >> in the earlier recordings she never really learned how to "drive" that
> > >> substantial voice of hers while Anderson, from the very beginning was
> a
> > >> natural "behind the wheel" of her vehicle.
> > >>
> > >> If you can't absolutely count on Missus Zinkowski for a thrill, she's
> > >> always good for a laugh!
> > >>
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