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Subject: Re: opera in translation
From: daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:daaaac <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Nov 2017 11:48:14 -0400
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Vishnevskaya debuted as Butterfly singing in Russian.  I’ve told the story here of a L’Heure Esagnole in Philly - everyone sang in French while the title role was walked by the assistant director, Kay Walker (Stratas had cancelled), in costume and wig with score in hand while Alma Jean Smith sang in English, standing stage right behind a music stand.

Donald
> On Nov 1, 2017, at 10:22 AM, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 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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