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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kenneth Bleeth <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:48:30 -0500
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John Ardoin told me that he suggested to Callas that she embrace the French
art song repertoire rather than attempting opera arias that taxed her
current vocal resources. Her reply was that song recitals weren't her
thing: "I leave that to Elizabeth [Schwarzkopf]."

On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 10:09 AM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> The only input any of us actually have on this topic is whether or not to
> purchase a ticket to
> support the continued performances of a singer.  No one is pointing a gun
> at any of our
> heads forcing us to attend, so if you don’t want to hear someone, or think
> he/she is
> performing past their “sell by” date, don’t go.
>
> For many an aging singer soldiering on can offer their fans pleasant
> afternoons/evenings of
> memories, and many has been the singer who, albeit with diminishing vocal
> abilities, knows
> how to put across a song and tell a story.  Mr. Ricchi already mentioned
> the embarrassment
> of riches that exist in the song literature worthy of exploration by both
> singer and audience.
>
> After (mostly) retiring from the opera stage, Hildegard Behrens – right up
> until her untimely
> passing – was giving recitals and masterclasses with a renewed energy that
> belied her
> years. In addition to her beloved Schumann she was still exploring new
> music, mixing it all
> with challenging works, such as Schoenberg’s “ Pierrot Lunaire” to
> audiences.  In addition to
> her many fans, she won new, younger fans with her participation in the
> Kusatsu
> International Festival in Japan, as teacher and recitalist.  Had it not
> been for an aortic
> aneurysm I can't imagine she wouldn't still be active in music some way
> today.
>
> I recall reading, decades ago, what the possible impact might have been of
> a non-operatic
> Callas finding a good coach and sympathetic accompanist and starting an
> entirely new
> career as a recitalist.  Imagine, with her marvelous French, attacking
> melodies of Debussy,
> Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Berlioz, Duparc, Milhaud, et al.  Of course, the
> majority of her public
> demanded “La Divina” struggling through the grand arias of Verdi, Puccini,
> Mascagni and the
> boys, but for me, this is one of the great missed opportunities, . . . a
> might have been that
> never was.
>
> p.
>
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