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Subject: Re: Norma: Post Radvanovsky
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 24 Oct 2017 08:05:42 -0700
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Stephen,

You are right on in your assumptions although I think Angela might surprise
you.  She can be variable but she does have temperament and if she can get
the vibrato under control, she does have the goods.  Radvanovsky?  No.  She
is a class of her own.  I would definitely mention her next to the C word
and the P word - in this case, Ponselle.  I did not hear Rebeka but from
what I have heard of her over the years and recently, my assumption would
be that you hit the nail on the head.  She is a fine singer with a cool,
somewhat colorless voice.   I've said Radvanovsky is the greatest Norma I
have heard since Sutherland who in her own way, belongs with that short
list of great singers.  I liked Verrett both as Norma and as Adalgisa,
Caballe also.  Scotto for me was like Sills, a non starter.  An over
gunned, under armored cruiser trying to act like a battleship and got blown
out of the water.  One Norma whom I like (only from recorded evidence, and
having known people who heard her) whom you detest was Milanov in 1944.
Not 1954 (although there were some beautiful things in tha talso) but
1944.  Much of the role was beautifully sung and she was definitely not a
verista.  Back then, she did have temperament, something that later morphed
into a prima donna act.

Donald

PS.  I was unaware that Connell, a singer I really liked had done Norma.  I
saw her last Turandot at Covent Garden, she replaced Irene Theorin.  She
was 65 and dying of lung cancer but sang a magnificent Turandot.  Bless her
memory.

For my money, Radvanovsky remains # 1.

Donald

On Mon, Oct 23, 2017 at 4:20 PM, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Did anyone on the list hear / see Marina Rebeka's "Norma" at the MET?
>
> I'm listening to the recording of her Sirius broadcast and while admiring
> her proficiency and diligence she's Black and White / Mono compared to
> Radvanovsky's 3D / Technicolor / Living Stereo.  Rebeka seems an
> "efficient" talent in a role that demands "efficiency" as its *minimal
> *requirement to
> make it even approach the technical if not emotional challenges Bellini
> wrote into it.  To my ears she qualifies as "Honorable Mention" along with
> June Anderson, Elizabeth Connell, and Rosalind Plowright among the many
> "also ran" "Norma's" I've heard.  Despite my in house outings with
> Sutherland, Caballe, Scotto, Verrett (Norma & Adalgisa) Radvanovsky is the
> only one who truly bears comparison with the "C" word - which of course
> connects directly to the "P" (Pasta) word...
>
>
> I'll be curious to hear what Meade does with it, though based on in house
> experiences of her Elvira (Ernani) and Leonora (Trovatore) I'm expecting a
> reasonably voiced, agile but vibrato ridden interpretatively inert
> assumption that bears little resemblance to the enormous history this role
> implies.  I hope she surprises me and proves me wrong...
>
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