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Subject: Re: Calleja's Polione Met 10/7/21
From: Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 9 Oct 2017 17:06:06 +0000
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I heard Del Monaco live in Lyon, France in 1958. He took both high notes (High C and B flat.)
Best,
Miguel
PS I went back stage to greet him. There was not body else but me there. I knocked at the door of his dressing room 
and he asked me to wait for a few minutes until he got dressed up.  He was extremely kind and invited  to walk with him 
to pick up his car that was parked in the street. He showed off his brand new Lincoln Continental ,with gold plated  trimmings
in the dashboard. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Cohen [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, October 09, 2017 9:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]; Miguel A De Virgilio <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Calleja's Polione Met 10/7/21

Funny by how much perception of a voice can differ. I was in the house for opening night, the 3rd October and for the HD. 

In these performances I was impressed by the sheer power and beauty of his voice and was quite flabbergasted when he took the written High C in "Meco al altar.." which is a devilishly difficult note on an I vowel. Many tenors I have heard live in this role leave this note out.  

If I had to nitpick it is true that on the first night the optional B flat crowning the cabaletta was a tad cloudy. However on the 3rd he sung it with clarion beauty and on the HD he decided not to sing it at all and sung the written A flat instead, much like Del Monaco does in the video below. I have no idea why he left it out as he sung a beautiful High C in Meco and he sung two interpolated B naturals with Sandra as the opera progressed. 
Perhaps he felt a momentary uncomfortableness in the throat? 

Meanwhile here is a video of Del Monaco not singing the B flat - not even the written one by Bellini on the word L' Empio- 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz-Er0c2ZU8

Here Del Monaco takes the B flat but omits the WRITTEN B flat Bellini writes  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=263sEWtKIbI 

Not comparing the two tenors of course but even a legendary great like Del Monaco, with perhaps a voice more ideal to Pollione than Callejjas, doesn't sound completely comfortable in a Cabaletta that to be completely honest, is no great shakes. 

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