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Subject: Re: Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:34:15 +0000
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Celeste Aida is sort of the O Patria Mia for tenors, especially in that comes near the beginning of the opera. The best version I ever heard live was Bergonzi a week or two before the 67(?) broadcast. That night he nailed the final soft high note, which is why I felt so sorry for him on the broadcast. The amazing thing about the note, that day, was that he held on to the note until it came out right. Most tenors, I think, would have let it go when it came out so poorly, but Carlo was determined to get it right. For me, Celeste Aida is a great tenor aria, difficult as it is to sing properly.  Ritorna Vincitor is no walk in the park either-LOL!


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 3:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Corelli and diminuendi (was Celeste Aida etc)

Must agree with Bob Rideout here.  Franco Corelli may have been imperfect (in that he wasn't a truly complete and finished artist), but he had vocal equipment that was twenty-four karat gold.  Of course his looks didn't hurt, but he was so much more.  I heard him do a really long diminuendo at the end of his Romeo et Juliet performance from Philly in 1964 and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  Also, his diminuendo at the end of the "Celeste Aida" (posted here yesterday) was almost as spectacular.  Corelli generated a tremendous amount of excitement, and the molten Italian lava of a voice had a take-no-prisoners quality to it that to this day sends shivers up my spine.
    I must say, however, that I'm sorry that Jonas Kaufmann's superb high B flat diminuendo at the end of HIS "Celeste Aida" wasn't included in the lineup yesterday.  I've never heard any tenor execute such an exquisite diminuendo on that B flat before.  I was also surprised at how many of the tenors sounded so blatantly flat on the F leading up to the B flat, which they just took forte like all the others save for Corelli and Kaufmann.
    On a personal level, I've never especially liked this particular tenor aria from the first time I heard it as a teenager.  I haven't changed my mind.  I find it surprisingly unattractive and most of the time the tenor sounds like he's bellowing.  What has made this aria so prized is beyond my comprehension.

> On October 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>  Franco Corelli did have the most ravishing and technically secure
> diminuendo I ever heard from a male throat, but its best example
> in my exprience was in "E lucevan le stelle", which is magnificent
> on record but was even more stunning in the theater. I saw him in
> the role at least a half dozen times and it never failed to bring gasps
> from a large segment of the audience.
>
> To be able to do that, after pulling off the greatest "Vittoria, vittoria"
> imaginable, left me and many others speechless. His was an imperfect
> talent but his best was the most thrilling I ever heard.
>
> Bob
>
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