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Subject: Re: Turandot
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:00:40 -0800
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I agree that calling it a day off is a big exaggeration (and even Nilsson dropped the role eventually when she was still singing Brünnhilde and Elektra) but I do think there are some roles, including Turandot, for which just having the right kind of voice is at least 2/3 of the battle. Queen of the Night might be another and  Vickers said that “for a real dramatic tenor” Siegmund was “a cakewalk.”

In contrast, I don’t think any soprano with any wealth of vocal gifts considers Violetta an easy sing. Same, of course, with Norma and, I suspect, Isolde.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Nov 13, 2017, at 16:15, Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I doubt that anyone else ever considered Turandot akin to a day off.
> 
> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Les Mitnick" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: 11/13/2017 5:58:09 PM
> Subject: Re: Turandot
> 
>> When I was a graduate student at De Paul in Chicago, I had the opportunity to meet Birgit Nilsson, who was singing Brunnhilde in "Die Walkure" at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  She was a very friendly and lovely lady. We talked about Turandot, and she said that Liu had the most beautiful music in the entire opera.  She went on to say that she would be on the verge of tears when Liu sang her two tiered aria before killing herself.  She said that she was glad that she had nothing to sing at that moment because she was so emotionally moved and had ample time to compose herself for the final scene.  She expressed great admiration for Mirella Freni, Leontyne Price, and Anna Moffo in the role.  In her book, she expresses surprise that Renata Tebaldi experienced so much difficulty recording Liu on the 1959 recording on RCA, since she seemed so suited to it.  She also said that she liked Turandot because the role was very short and it always allowed her to sing it alongside of Isolde a
>> nd Elektra.  In fact, she sang both Turandot and Isolde in Chicago in 1958 (and the seasons then were pretty short in Chicago).
>> Nilsson was something else.
> 
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