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Subject: Re: Novotna
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 5 Oct 2017 21:41:46 -0400

text/plain (50 lines)

> On Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 3:45 PM, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> ... in 1940 she was welcomed by Olin
>> Downes as one of the greatest Violettas ever!.  A dozen or more
>> distinguished
>> seasons followed with great success as Octavian, Pamina, Antonia, Freia,
>> Donna Elvira, Orlovsky, and Euridice.
She was also a wonderful Cherubino, youthful, with an impeccably vocalized
"Voi che sapete" on both Met broadcasts that I happen to have. The rest of
the cast is the same, all three women were magnificent: besides Novotna,
Steber was glorious as the Countess and Sayao's Susanna clearly won the
audience with her mischievous charm. Pinza's Figaro was outstanding, suave
and fun, and Baccaloni delivered a true buffo Bartolo without excesses and
mannerism that usually spoil buffo attempts. Brownlee's Count was a tad
less impressive than the other male leads, but still surely better than
average. The only difference was the conductor: Breisach in 1943 and
Walter, a great Mozartian indeed, in 1944. Both sets are absolutely worth

I believe there is only one extant recording of Novotna's Octavian, her
live Salzburg performance with Reining's exquisite Marschallin. Reining
here was much better --in fact, besides Della Casa, my favorite Marschallin
on this recording-- than a few years later in studio under Kleiber.

And there is also the Met's live ORFEO ED EURIDICE with Kerstin Thorborg,
the recording I bought because I wanted to know more about Thorborg, and
then ended up being equally impressed with Novotna's lovely Euridice.

Glad to read here that she was actively engaged in the anti-Nazi movement.
In that, she joins Daniza Ilitsch (a Serbian-born soprano who was sent to
the concentration camp for her brave clandestine assistance to the Allies
while in Vienna) and Maria Reining, her Marschallin at Salzburg.


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