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Subject: Re: NORMA's high def presentation
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 8 Oct 2017 21:45:24 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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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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