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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 15:49:55 +0000
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I did not attend or hear the whole of Joan's Met Trovatore Leonora, but from what I have heard on You Tube and from some who did attend those Trovatores, your assessment of her performance is not entirely true. Her last act cabaletta would have been very good for a soprano 30 or half her age at that time. No doubt she was not at her very best, but not nearly as bad as you heard. Perhaps you heard her on an off night, which happens more often, the older the singer gets.  I think she is outstanding on her Trovatore recording and I have a DVD on which she sings Leonora's arias, magnificently. The worst Trovatore Leonora I ever heard was Scotto, no one else came close.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, November 30, 2017 8:56 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE

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.

Rich

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