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Subject: Re: NORMA's high def presentation
From: Patrick Byrne <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Sun, 8 Oct 2017 17:59:11 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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Cossotto had topped Callas in the Paris Norma, but Maria's voice was in  
peril at that point. Caballe also discussed some attempts by Cossotto at  
upstaging her during a Norma, but apparently Madame quickly put an end to  that.
 
Patrick Byrne
 
 
In a message dated 10/8/2017 4:45:38 P.M. Central Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Tom

How strange.  I remember nothing of the Caballe  "Norma" at the
Met, either. And, though I don't agree at all about the  greatest Casta
Diva, I do think that the Orange "Norma" is a truly  magnificent
performance. Our Met memory "is a puzzlement". She was  anything
but an anonymous singer. I have wondered about that for many  years.

For the record, Cossotto sang rings around Horne as Adalgisa.  That
is a performance I remember as though it were yesterday. A  huge
Sutherland fan, and a good friend of mine, stormed up the aisle at  the
end of Act Three and screamed at me "How dare she". They had
sung  the duet "come scritto" and Cossotto had obliterated Sutherland
at the top.  Jack really adored Sutherland!

Bob

On Oct 8, 2017 5:23 PM, "tom  ponti" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Probably the best Norma,  overall, I ever saw or heard was the Orange
> performance by Caballe.  She probably sang the greatest Casta Diva of the
> twentieth century.  She was vocally great throughout and dramatically very
> convincing. I  did see Caballe's Norma at the Met, but for some reason, I 
do
> not  remember it at all. In the performance I heard live, Sutherland was
>  excellent in the first 3 acts and vocally and dramatically great in  the
> last act. I have seen parts of Sondra's Norma, of a few years ago  on You
> Tube and agree with Les about singing of the role. I did not  hear
> yesterday's performance. Hopefully, it will be on You Tube soon,  or on TV
> as well.
>
>
>  ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related  issues <[log in to unmask]>
> on behalf of Les Mitnick  <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, October 8, 2017 3:50  PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [OPERA-L] NORMA's  high def presentation
>
> I haven't attended all that many HD  presentations, but I've attended
> enough to make
> a comparison  to yesterday's Norma.  First of all, I was not happy with 
the
> way  the sound
> was being transmitted ----- and I didn't think the volume  was high 
enough,
> especially in
> the first act.  Moreover,  to my ears, it didn't sound as clear as I would
> have wished.   I
> know that the others I've attended in the past sounded more "vivid"  and
> clearer.  In the
> first act, it sounded to me like  there was a scrim-like quality to the
> sound.
>     Moving on, I didn't care for the production at all.  Were the  Druids
> active only during
> the middle of the night?  And  the costumes!  The Druids looked like
> cavemen under the
>  command of Attila the Hun (If you ever saw the 1955 film "Sign of the
>  Pagan" with Jack
> Palance (1955), you know what I mean.  Mr.  Rose's Oroveso made me yearn
> for the
> sounds of Cesare Siepi or  Samuel Ramey.  diDonato's costume and 
appearance
> did her  no
> justice, and I saw no reason for Adalgisa to be almost worshiping  Norma
> during the Casta
> Diva and the cabaletta.  Why was  she there at all?   I thought the kids
> were cute, and  I
> enjoyed Radvanovsky's interaction with them.
>     I admire and respect Radvanovsky's Norma.  Those high pianos  are
> gorgeous to be
> sure, and her voice is certainly up the the  demands of the role.  Hers is
> a beautiful
> creation.   I must confess that I missed the Callas-like venom and weighty
> low  chest notes
> at the bottom of the voice as well as the sheer thrust of  her incisive
> consonants.
> Radvanovsky simply doesn't have these  in her vocal arsenal ----- but
> Callas certainly
> didn't have  the piano soft notes of Radvanovsky!   I found diDonato
>  wonderful as always,
> and the duets were beautifully  done.
>     What I really appreciated was the restoration  of the rapid "stretto"
> music towards the
> end of the  Pollione/Adalgisa duet in Act I.  I love that music.  And  
even
> more significantly,
> I was thrilled to hear that sublime  Moon Rise music after the "Guerra,
> Guerra" chorus,
> which is so  frequently omitted.  I find this music so moving and the very
>  essence of what
> bel canto is ------ with the harp accompanying the  orchestra.
>     I have to confess that I love the opera  and HAVE loved it since I
> heard it when I was
> sixteen (on both  Callas studio recordings).  Then, of course, I bought 
the
>  Sutherland/Horne recording and while I loved the Bonynge orchestral
>  additions, as well as
> Sutherland's embellishments, and of course,  Marilyn Horne.  Sutherland's
> Norma?  All
> technically  perfect, but for me, such perfection led to boredom very
> fast.  I  don't think
> that Sutherland ever scratched the emotional surface of  Norma. For the
> most part she
> sang most of the role on vowel  sounds.  She wasn't big on emphasizing
> consonants. Her
>  Norma was a perfect statue - devoid of fire and passion.  But what a  
sound
> she made!
>
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