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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:56:25 +0000

text/plain (32 lines)

I think we are pretending that the decision is easier than it is. 
Performances can be booked years in advance, perhaps while the aging 
singer is still capable of performing the role satisfactorily. It is 
also difficult for singers--or anyone, for that matter--to evaluate 
themselves honestly; in many cases they are assured by others (family, 
agents, conductors) that they still retain enough voice and talent to 
perform the role. Ending a performing career honorably requires wisdom, 
honesty and a kind of ruthless self-evaluation beyond most of us.

Those known for interpretation and "musicianship" (whatever that 
means--I hear an Albert tirade in my head) fade better than those known 
purely for voice. Probably the saddest farewell I attended was Joan 
Sutherland's last run in Trovatore at the Met, certainly the worst 
production I have ever seen. The role was far beyond her current 
ability--but it was ludicrous in the first place to cast her as Leonora, 
and I felt nothing but sadness at the thought of those (her husband) who 
had encouraged her. She deserved far better.


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