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Subject: cossotto in chicago - was norma's high def presentation
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:07:57 -0500

text/plain (34 lines)

Cossotto was a major factor in Chicago during her prime and I rank her among the greatest mezzos I’ve heard. We also had the incomparable (for me) Simionato here for several of the early seasons along with Stignani then, later, Troyanos and Zajick. (Bumbry never thrilled me). Christa Ludwig, another great but quite different type of mezzo, also contributed a lot to Lyric’s formative years, including some roles you wouldn’t have expected her to sing: Preziosilla and Elena (Mefistofele).

Some time ago I was watching a Trovatore DVD with some friends and I told them I had trouble remembering Cossotto's Azucena here. Turns our there was good reason for it: it wasn’t part of her Chicago appearances, one of her few top roles that we didn’t have the pleasure of seeing. 

Her Favorita Leonora thrilled us twice. (Kraus both times and Bruscantini followed by Cappuccilli). She also gave us Eboli, Amneris, Laura, Santuzza, Adalgisa and (David is correct) Ulrica in 1986. She was still a force to be reckoned with and she gave it 110%!

The Adalgisa may or may not have been well sung - I don’t remember and it’s irrelevant because the decisive factor in that production was the overwhelming disaster of Suliotis’ Norma, an embarrassment for the ages! The role pretty much initiated the downfall of what should have been a major career. Bad judgement on her part and Lyric management’s. Not all Greek sopranos are Norma material. She might have been later, but not then. Whenever I listen to her early recordings I’m aware of what a wonderful voice she had.

One more note about Cossotto: I saw her as the Principessa di Bouillon in Rome in 1962 and became an instant devoté. Tebaldi was the Adriana.

Kurt Youngmann

> On Oct 12, 2017, at 5:58 PM, David Kubiak <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> I was lucky to hear Cossotto in her prime in many roles, including Adalgisa,
> where she overwhelmed a young Suliotis even more completely than she had
> Callas.  I heard Horne a lot too in the same period.  People are individual
> in what they prize in a voice, but in my some 55 years of opera-going,
> purely as a sound in a space, Cossotto is probably in my top three.

"To me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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