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Subject: Re: singers who should have had big international careers - but didnt (3)
From: walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:walter guitian <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 4 Oct 2017 03:50:18 +0000
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Bob makes a review of the Puccini album of Antonietta Stella (I guess recorded in 1956 or around) and says it is particular impressive and only talks of a C (which on the other hand I see nothing of stunning in it), as if singing was A, B or C or D.Antonietta Stella is a good soprano but not excepcional, the voice is generically pleasant (not very beautiful) but heavy in the bad sense, in singing is called "not ductile", she is very limited in dynamics, and as Max says , "there's an overall musical dowdiness about her"  and her phrasing is prim, she has a plebeian accent  she is a raw singer  and she lacks a really distintive musical persona she has not a real personality, for all this  she is not of reference in any role she sang.You say  Mimí an inmediately think Tebadi and Freni, you say Macbeth and think Callas, Gencer, Verrett say Desdemona or Leonora you say Tebaldi, say Lucia you think Sutherland etc etc etc, Medea: Callas, Adriana: Olivero,  you say any role and Antonietta Stella is not referencial in any.She was a very uneven singer, including in Trovatore we can listen in a 1957 "live" tape from Naples how she used tricks, the voice is uneven in color through the range, in the minute 5:25  she does not sing the phrase "ma deh non dirgli", she remains silent to prepare for the high  C https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e5KuG7Tlo0, For Bob that interest the C and the pitch, in her Fanciulla del west video  the C in "Laggiú nel soledad" is flat ,  on minute 1:48 the attack is definitely flat , is very evident : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kua9vyEGfoo.Antonietta Stella is born in 1929 she debutted in 1950, in  the 1953 Florence "Aroldo" she was a good promise but she did not keep it.   only 6 years later or around after her debut , she appeared to be with veiled middle and the high notes even though it were acceptable, it is not that they would get a lot of it. Since early to middle '60s Stella broke the breath support of her voice  because an unwise and crazy repertoire (she sang everything) and she was very young, she was in her middle thirties, it appeared a big hole in the middle, she began to speak in the middle instead if singing, she went on singing opera until 1972. In 1974 ended her career at 45 years old
Walter












      De: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
 Para: [log in to unmask] 
 Enviado: Martes, 3 de octubre, 2017 16:17:32
 Asunto: Re: singers who should have had big international careers - but didnt (3)
   
There’s a studio recording she made in 1957 (speaking of Stella and Tosca) for Philips (released in the US on Columbia) that has somewhat dropped into obscurity but isn’t half bad.  She’s in good voice, Serafin conducts a terrific performance and the mono sound is excellent. The real gem is Taddei as Scarpia; good as he is for Karajan, he’s in sumptuous voice on this earlier set. The weak spot, but not nearly as bad as sometimes, is Poggi.

The Columbia packaging and booklet make a big deal about Stella as the Grand Diva with multiple photos.

I know I’m repeating myself but for me, just knowing her from recordings, while it’s a good voice of apparent size and range (sometimes spectacular high notes), there’s an overall musical dowdiness about her. A certain drabness, lack of a really distinctive musical persona. The German equivalent was Marianne Schech of whom you could say almost the exact same things. Both singers had one or two roles that really lit them up. I’ve heard Cio-Cio-San was one for Stella and Schech seems to have done particularly well with Sieglinde and Chrysothemis.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 3, 2017, at 11:30, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> David
> 
> It was 1968 and there were 5 performances, with Renato Cioni and
> Gian Giacomo Guelfi. I saw her in the role at Rome sometime around
> 1972 and it was dreadful. I left after the second act.
> 
> But in 1960, she was a force to be reckoned with.
> 
> If anyone wants to hear her in prime voice, there is a recital from the
> late 50s that has been released on Testament. The Puccini stuff is
> particularly impressive, including a stunning top C in "Laggiu nel
> soledad" from Fanciulla.
> 
> Bob
> 
>> On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 14:04 David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Back to Stella.  It has recently been pointed out to me that my sense of
>> operatic chronology may be failing a bit, but I do have a distinct memory
>> of
>> hearing Stella in 'Tosca' in Chicago at some point between the middle 60's
>> to 1971.  I remember it because she was booed, which in my long experience
>> at the Lyric happened only to her, Suliotis in 'Norma', and at an
>> especially
>> ridiculous production of 'Parsifal' some ten years ago.
>> 
>> And Eileen Farrell's problems with memorizing can be deduced from a YouTube
>> 'Liebestod' in which she gets the words wrong. (Further on Farrell.  She
>> was
>> the loudest singer I have ever heard in the theater -- I actually had to
>> get
>> up and move several rows back she was so loud.  At the same time, I find
>> confirmed by a couple of Sirius broadcasts her tendency to let phrases
>> collapse at the end, almost as if she had run out of breath, which I doubt
>> she did.)
>> 
>> David Kubiak
>> 
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