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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:13:37 -0500
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I think it's somewhat unfair not to recognize that there are more sides to
this discussion than labeling it as a division between "caring people" and
"criticizing fanatics" as one lister put it.

It's not about the old age and the lack of compassion, it's about anyone
whose performing abilities significantly declined but who is still
monopolizing major opera stages in the world in the major roles for his/her
fach, effectively denying other colleagues in their prime the same chance
that they had when they were in their prime. And, as Kiwi said, also
denying the audience to hear better performances in these *major* roles.

There are other options, including concerts - this is not the same as
performing major roles in major houses, so these are not fair
counter-examples in this discussion. So, when Callas' last concerts or
similar examples are used to illustrate how much it's important that we are
compassionate toward aging singers, it's really comparing apples and
oranges - she didn't go to the Paris Opera to sing Norma or Traviata in the
early 1970s and, perfectly aware of her vocal decline, she never attempted
to do it at that stage. Concerts are an entirely different matter.

There are many options even for continuing the onstage career by taking on
more appropriate roles. One lister privately gave me the perfect example of
Robert Lloyd who has switched from the principal to minor bass roles
admirably. My favorite example is Martha Modl who went back to mezzo roles
when her voice couldn't sustain Wagnerian dramatic soprano roles and then,
after that, memorably appearing in "character" roles (aka comprimario
roles), excerpts of which are to this day popular thanks to online video
venues.

There are appropriate career options including concerts or alternative
stage roles after the vocal prime and we are ALL compassionate to support
our beloved singers in pursuing them.

Vesna

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