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Subject: opera in translation
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Nov 2017 14:22:43 +0000
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Chaliapin always sang Boris in Russian, regardless of what language the 
other performers were using. That was true at the Met as well, where he 
was surrounded by Italians. (Chaliapin would sometimes address the 
audience after the performance in French, making for a very polyglot 
evening).

Of course for several early years everything at the Met--including 
Italian opera--was performed in German. For many years Czech works such 
as Jenufa and The Bartered Bride were done in German. It is a 
comparatively recent development to expect that works be performed in 
their original language. I believe the only exception now at the Met is 
Dialogues of the Carmelites (which Poulenc wanted always done in the 
vernacular).

Speaking of opera in translation, I am curious whether anyone has heard 
Peter Grimes in German (or knows of a recording).

------ Original Message ------
From: "Russ Geschke" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 11/1/2017 10:01:53 AM
Subject: Re: Verdi's Macbeth

>For those who care but do not know, "wrong language" performances such 
>as the Pinza "Boris Godunov" were common through the first half of the 
>last century.  The first U.S. performances of  "Boris Godunov" at the 
>Met in 1913 under Toscanini were in Italian, with Adam ("Adamo") Didur, 
>Louise Homer, and Paul Althouse.  Didur and Althouse have left recorded 
>souvenirs (in Italian) of those performances: from Didur the "Monologo" 
>(rec. Pathe c. 1916) and "Morte di Boris" (rec. Pathe 1920), and by 
>Althouse the Marina-Dmitri duet, with Margarete Arndt-Ober (rec. Victor 
>Co., 1915).  A late friend, Kurtz Myers (1913-2004) told me that one of 
>his earliest memories was of seeing in a record store in the early 
>1920s a near-lifesize (and I believe he said free-standing) image of 
>Didur as Boris, holding sceptre and orb, crowned, resplendent in his 
>golden robes, as an advertisement for his Pathe records.
>
>There was also a 1928 Covent Garden performance of "Boris" with 
>Chaliapin singing in Russian, while everyone else sang an Italian text, 
>one reviewer commenting about how the Italians (Irene Minghini-Cattaneo 
>as Marina, Dino Borgioli as Dmitri) really let rip in the Marina-Dmitri 
>duet.
>

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