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Subject: Re: On behalf of Stefan Zucker
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Sat, 28 Oct 2017 14:58:44 -0400

text/plain (34 lines)

Les Mitnick wrote:

"If I'm not mistaken, Renata Scotto was given a very bitter and hostile reception on the 
evening of opening Norma in 1981 ---------- so bad that she abandoned the role and never 
(I believe) went near it again."

Scotto did, indeed, get a hostile (and very rude) reception to her Norma at the Met.  But 
she sang it a number of times thereafter and recorded it.  I heard her do it in Houston in (I 
think) 1983, with Tatiana Troyanos.  Like everything I heard Scotto do, one had to respect 
her musicality and effort, but I did not think it a good role for her at all.  She had to skitter 
lightly through all the coloratura passages and high notes were painful to hear.  And by that 
point in her career she was indulging in all those affected little soft notes and tapered 
phrase-endings for "expression."  Actually, what was most memorable about that 
performance, at least to me, was a very embarrassing memory lapse Troyanos had during 
the second of the two duets, where instead of singing, "Spera, spera," she jumped several 
bars ahead to "Norma, deh spera."  She froze with a look of panic on her face and the music 
just rumpty-tumptied along without her.  She recovered by the next phrase, and most 
people in the audience probably didn't know anything had gone wrong.  But for those of us 
who knew the music, it was a very uncomfortable moment.


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