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Subject: Callas in Mexico City; any note you can hold I can hold longer
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:28:24 -0400

text/plain (29 lines)

I listened to the 1950 Mexico Norma on youtube on Saturday.

It is quite amusing but also disconcerting to hear Baum trying to hold on to every high note; he usually loses. 

Also, Simionato seems less subtle than usual, and Ardoin notes she goes off pitch in the duets with Callas (but we do get to hear her easy high C). perhaps because of the overall competitive atmosphere. I like how she holds the final A flat in her duet with Baum; any note you can hold I can hold longer (and remember she did that duet from Annie Get Your Gun with I can't remember who for the Karajan Fledermaus gala). I think this may have been her first outing in this role. 

The conducting is both boring and awful; the last ensemble is a shambles, with Picco rushing climaxes (maybe he was doing so to keep in check Mr. Any Note You Can Hold I Can Hold Longer), which is a shame, because by that point Callas is on fire vocally and dramatically. She sounds nervous until the trio.

I can now understand why Callas wanted to interpolate that high E flat in the triumphal scene. Both Simionate and Weede (the Amonasro) were complaining about his high note holding, and encouraged Callas to interpolate the note.


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