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Subject: Re: Fwd: WHEN TO RETIRE
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 30 Nov 2017 16:41:32 +0000
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Hi Vesna

Amen to all of it, with a particular shout out to the importance
of not conflating the criteria for operatic and recital (concert)
performances.

I smiled at your comment about Martha Modl, whom I only saw
once, as the Innkeeper in Boris Godunov around 1980. I cherish
that memory, as I do of so many others who had both the sense
and the grace to lower their and our expectations as a reflection
of their abilities.

Bravi to all of them!

Bob

On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 11:14 Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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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