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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 10:09:58 -0500

text/plain (40 lines)

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.  


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