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Subject: Re: When to retire
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:15:30 +0000
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All great singers, prime and post prime, have their off nights. I happened to be at a Saturday night Tosca in which Kirsten came out of retirement to replace an indisposed soprano. Especially considering her age, near seventy, she gave an outstanding performance which was warmly received by the audience, myself included. At the curtain call, Bergonzi and MacNeil brought her to the front of the stage, and stepped back so she would get the applause she deserved. It was a very touching scene, which can be seen on You Tube. That was probably one of the oldest Tosca casts ever on any stage, and a most memorable night at the opera for me


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 8:38 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] When to retire

I agree. Better to have seen a post prime giant than an unremarkable singer
at their low altitude pinnacle.

Yes, the box office, the singerís need for cash flow, and dignity/pride are
deciding factors.

While we are on the subject, is there a great singer who has made more
post-prime recordings than John McCormack.

As for  Kirsten, I might be influenced by a really tough Butterfly I heard
in the early 60ís. I will look in the archives and see if I can identify it.

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On Nov 28, 2017 at 7:55 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:


Hello everybody.

This subject is a slippery slope and it has no objective answer.

I am very glad that I saw Licia Albanese, Zinka Milanov, Paul
Schoffler, Ramon Vinay and many others who were past their
absolute best but were still able to convey the essence of that
which had brought them celebrity. They were quite wonderful,
in fact. Zinka's "Gioconda" was superb in 1961, and Licia's
"Violetta" was the most emotionally effective I've ever seen,
even as late as 1960. Yes, I needed patience to get through
Act 1 but what followed was worth the wait.

I have always believed that the box office will determine the shalf
life of singers, and that as long as there are people who are willing
to pay for "biographies" there will be a place for them. I imagine
that there are many thousands of people who are happy that they
had the opportunuty to see Luciano Pavarotti, even at the end.
Their choice, and why not!

Dorothy Kirsten really has no place in this conversation. She was
an enormously competent singer whose abilities remained intact
until that final curtain. The most remarkable thing about her was
the jaw dropping consistency of her vocalism.

Bob

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