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Subject: Re: 1st act if Norma HD
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 8 Oct 2017 12:47:00 -0700
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Vesna, it was more then volume.  It was dynamics and lack of impact.  There
was a veil over the musical picture which sounded to me like extreme
compression from the source.  The biggest loser in this is Radvanovsky
because they took the glow off her voice.  The biggest gainer was Di Donato
because it is not a big voice to begin with.  A beautiful voice and a
beautiful singer but a modestly sized instrument.  Calleja is a voice that
is growing darker and bigger but again, not a real powerhouse.  I think
like the old days, they didn't know what to do with the sheer size of
Regine Crespin's voice and they have similar fears with La Radvanovsky.

Donald

On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 9:48 AM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Let me just say ditto for these favorable comments on all accounts. There
> was a spontaneous applause in my theatre after 'Casta diva' which I don't
> remember ever happening except for Netrebko's Lady M. I thought it was also
> the best dressed Norma and, combined with Radvanovsky's gorgeously spinning
> upper register, it felt as if the legendary divas from the old photographs
> came to life. I do wish she does less exaggerated pianissimos, but this is
> a minor quibble.
>
> That's interesting about the sound in the theatre because we had the same
> issue and, thinking that it's the matter of volume, I volunteered to walk
> out before 'Casta Diva' and ask the manager to turn it up. Everything was
> perfectly fine afterwards.
>
> Best, Vesna
>
> On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Jackie Eubanks <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > I much agree with what Don Levine writes from his in-house and HD
> > experiences with Norma, having heard it at the Met last Tuesday, and at
> my
> > local HD theater yesterday.  The Radvan/DiDonato/Calleja cast is the
> best I
> > have heard in years vocally, and histrionically superior to any I can
> > remember.  Like Don, my memories go back to Sutherland/Horne/Bergonzi in
> > 1970, still very much a vocal benchmark, but this was singing of the
> > highest caliber.  Radvanovsky has come a long way since she first assumed
> > the role; she has made it her own, and she can spin Bellini’s phrases
> like
> > no one else today.  The Norma/Adelgisa duets have improved since opening
> > night, as heard on Sirius.  DiDonato produced some splendid singing,
> > (thinking here particularly about “Sola, furtiva, al tempio...” as she
> > describes her first encounter with Pollione).  Flat out gorgeous.
> Calleja
> > still seems uncomfortable with some of Pollione’s music, but in the final
> > duet with Norma (“In mia man alfin tu sei...”) he was just about perfect.
> > I can’t drum up any enthusiasm for Rizzi, who held things together but
> > produced no insights.  The “Guerra, Guerra” war chorus was absurdly fast
> in
> > all three performances I heard. And yes, the role of Oroveso demands
> > someone of Siepi’s stature.
> > Don mentions a problem with the HD transmission, and I experienced the
> > same in my theatre.  The sound was highly compressed, which served to
> > equalize the voices in terms of volume.  After hearing it live on
> Tuesday,
> > this was extremely disappointing.  Perhaps some engineer was trying to
> cope
> > with the sheer size of Radvanovsky’s voice, but for whatever reason, the
> > compression seriously affected the transmission, at least in my theatre.
> >
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