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Subject: Re: Birgit Nilsson Great Streaming Documentary
From: tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:tom ponti <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:14:09 +0000
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Perhaps the most thrilling performance I ever saw Nilsson and Rysenak give was in Elektra. I knew nothing about the opera, but I had heard they both were great in those roles. Indeed, they were. About a year ago I listened to a Met Ballo in You Tube with Leonie and Bergonzi, as I was curious as to how they would sound together. Somewhat to my surprise, Leonie sounded wonderful as Amelia. Even though a Nilsson or Rysenak sound may not be ideal or typical for certain Italian roles, it still was wonderful to hear them in those roles. Last night I listened to an album of Lieder duets by Victoria dLA and DFD. They really sounded great together. As usual to my ears, she sounded gorgeous and her German seemed decent, at least. He sounded wonderful too, it was very unexpected enjoyable experience for me.


________________________________
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:55 AM
To: [log in to unmask]; tom ponti
Subject: Re: Birgit Nilsson Great Streaming Documentary

Tom and list

I saw Nilsson in several Italian roles, Tosca not among them.
I'm pretty much in agreement with Max Paley on the "warmth"
business. I saw her first Met Aida and it struck me as a
superb performance, including very secure piani. I was very
happy (it was also the night of Biserka Cvejic's Met debut,
promising much more than was ultimately delivered). I
returned for another Nilsson Aida a season or two later, and I
could hardly believe my reaction. What had seemed so right
the first time, came off as a parody of Italian opera, and the
voice, though never defeated by music, was beyond chilly.
Comments about another singer from an earlier time skating
on the frozen Nile seemed totally appropriate. Ditto her
Amelia in Ballo. Leonie's voice was much more suited to the
Italian idiom, though the less said about her vocalism, the
better.

Nilsson's Lady Macbeth was very well sung and acted. I had
no expectations and was most pleasantly surprised. She was
able to convince me that she knew what the role was all
about, and she negotiated the many tricky vocal passages
with real conviction.

I saw Turandot at least a dozen times, and was blown away
every time. She and Corelli were thrilling beyond my ability
to describe, especially in the "Figlio del Cielo" section. "Wow"
doesn't begin to do it justice.

Bob





On Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 08:18 tom ponti <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
I mostly saw Nilsson in Italian Opera, in that I am not a big fan of most of the Ring Operas. I saw a Saturday afternoon Ballo with Tucker. What I remember about the performance is the duet in which both were thrilling. I saw her Tosca not long after seeing Callas, and though she sang it very well, her acting was almost funny at times. I saw her Lady MacBeth and really don't recall much about it. Turandot, could have been composed for her, as just about everyone would agree. Nilsson's was never my favorite soprano voice, but it was a great one with an incredible upper register. If only Crespin had nearly as secure an upper register, she could have been one of the very greatest. Still, even without a secure upper voice, Regine is one of my all time favorite sopranos.


________________________________
From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 3:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Birgit Nilsson Great Streaming Documentary

I don’t think it’s inane. Her very slender vowels and minimal vibrato could be heard as “cold” and a number of people didn’t like her timbre and style in Italian opera, other than as Turandot.

I never heard her live in “Ballo” but I like her studio recording and find her very passionate. I did hear live as Tosca and didn’t really like what I heard. Very loud throughout and rock solid top notes but very steely and little, I guess I have to say it, “warmth.”

Max Paley

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 9, 2018, at 22:21, Operatics <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
> Yes, her Amelia    -   I remember some reviewer's inane comments about Nilsson's voice being cold - ( it must be cold because she comes from icy Sweden)!
>
> Estelle
>
>
>
>> On 1/9/2018 6:24 AM, k youngmann wrote:
>> And she wasn’t just limited to heavy roles. Her Amelia opposite di Stefano’s Riccardo / Gustavo in Chicago back in ’59 generated some of the greatest applause I’ve ever heard, especially after the Act II duet. Gobbi’s Renato didn’t hurt the performance either!
>>
>> Kurt Youngmann
>>
>>> On Jan 9, 2018, at 7:42 AM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Certainly, in my years of opera going, no one has come close
>>> to Birgit Nilsson for vocal opulence and security in the heavier
>>> Wagnerian roles, and in her prime, pre WWIi, there was no
>>> singer who commanded greater tonal splendor than Kirsten
>>> Flagstad.
>>
>> "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” -
>> Isaac Asimov
>>
>>
>>
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