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Subject: Re: Met Operning Night - Bellini's Norma
From: robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 27 Sep 2017 10:37:30 -0400
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Thanks, Jackie - well put. I was there opening night - the opening aria
showed Calleja's bright sound brilliantly and he nailed the high C;
something weird happened thereafter and he had trouble with the final B
flat of the cabaletta and was ever more tenuous as the act went on. But in
the last act duo with Norma, he was very strong.
The role sits low and this could be the problem - the first Pollione,
Donzelli, wrote to Bellini that his voice was strong up to a G and the he
went into a falsetto like extension, and so Bellini wrote the role for the
tenor's middle octave. And if you are used to singing the Duke of Mantua
(Calleja is brilliant here) all over, the adjustment may not work. But he's
a terrific singer an dit may just have been that all the rehearsals went to
the women, or something.
The quick vibrato is a matter of taste, so it's out of the argument. I'll
be interested in further performances.
Best,
Bob

On Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:03 AM, Jackie Eubanks <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Regarding Calleja, I can only agree with Bob and Stephen.  I have heard
> Calleja live in MacBeth, Hoffmann, Faust, Rigoletto, Boheme, and Lucia, and
> consider him one of the finest interpreters of these roles in recent
> years.  And emphatically, his is NOT a tiny voice.  Having listened to
> Norma on Sirius, I concur that this may not have been a stellar outing for
> him, but will be in the house next Tuesday and can form a more accurate
> impression then.  Opening night jitters can afflict almost anyone, and I
> suspect this may have come into play.  Pollione may, or may not, be a
> perfect fit for him, but the roles listed above certainly are.  His fast
> vibrato may not be to everyone’s taste, but should not earn him the
> opprobrium cast dismissively on “this Calleja person.” What rot.
>
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