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Subject: Re: Met Tosca in HD/Radio
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 28 Jan 2018 16:15:05 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain
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Steve,

What did that poor woman ever do to you?  Did she try to seduce you when
you were a child?  Let her rest in peace.

Donald

On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 2:48 PM, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Max,
>
> I agree with much you say.  But I would argue opera has been an aural /
> visual art long before it could be appreciated as a purely sonic
> experience.  Most of the composers of the core repertory never expected
> their works would be experienced via records or radio, let alone in
> something called "HD" but I think "HD" would have been the most satisfying
> revelation to them - at least when it works...can't imagine what they would
> have thought of "Regie."
>
> What made this "Tosca" work for me, more than the Jejune Zeffereli settings
> was the combination of the voices, and actually seeing  the dramatically
> vibrant commitment of the singers play out the emotions on their faces -
> watching as well as hearing them live  these iconic roles.  This "Tosca"
> was, at least in HD, a "complete" experience.  Judging by the visuals of
> the in house audience, and our little group in an Akron Cinemark - there
> was a satisfying unanimity  between what was seen and heard.- just what
> made Peri's "Euridice" such a hit in 1600.
>
> Steve
>
> ps...Bob, the Zinkster in HD would have been better suited to "Saturday
> > Night Live" or her own show on "Comedy Central..."
> >
>
> On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 2:21 PM, Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > The visual aspect of a performance heavily colors our hearing perception.
> > I’ve found often that if I close my eyes in a live performance, what I
> hear
> > seems significantly different, not only in terms of the performance
> itself
> > but also in sound quality and balance.
> >
> > Hearing only the audio, I mentioned “squally and pushed” singing from
> > Yoncheva. I heard a fine voice oversinging. People watching it might have
> > seen and therefore heard a riveting dramatic performance in which the
> > sounds correlated to what they saw.
> >
> > I remember someone (it might have even been CLO, discussed in another
> > thread) talking about seeing Callas’ “return to the Met” Tosca. He said
> > that, because of the extraordinary demand for tickets, he had to stand
> and
> > his view of the stage was sometimes blocked. I’m paraphrasing, since I
> > haven’t actually re-read the comment in ca. 50 years, but his comment was
> > to the effect that, when he saw her, he was so mesmerized by the
> > performance that he would have stated that her singing was ample and
> > secure. When he couldn’t see her, he was suddenly aware of severe
> > unevenness and unsteadiness and even lack of volume.
> >
> > It’s totally legitimate for people who only hear the audio of a
> > performance to report on what they perceive. If someone who saw the
> > performance comes away with a totally different perception, it doesn’t
> make
> > the audio listener “wrong.”
> >
> > Max Paley
> >
> > Sent from my iPad
> >
> > > On Jan 28, 2018, at 10:04, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Idia
> > >
> > > Friends to the end and this ain't the end!
> > >
> > > Let's take a step backward. Don said specifically that he only
> > > heard the audio part since he was in his car at the time.
> > >
> > > I went back and re-read his post to see if he had, in any way,
> > > "dissed" the director or any aspect of the production. He had
> > > not mentioned anything other than the singing, so, it seems
> > > to me that your post and criticism conflated two issues, one
> > > of which played no part in his discussion.
> > >
> > > Now, you may certainly think that opera is best served as a live
> > > experience, and it often is, but I will say, as I have many times -
> > >
> > > Millions of Americans, and others, were, and are today, longtime
> > > opera fans, having never experienced opera except on records
> > > and/or on radio. They are often quite knowledgeable and they
> > > have every right to share their observations in the context of
> > > the limitations provided by audio alone. Recordings made many
> > > stars who would otherwise be hardly known, and the Met Guild
> > > made opera available to millions over the last eighty years,
> > > millions who would likely have never known the joy of music
> > > that has ennobled and enriched their lives, had it not been for
> > > the airwaves.
> > >
> > > BTW, not to enable my friend, Mr. Charitan's, favorite punching
> > > bag, but it was often better just to hear Zinka, and leave the rest
> > > to the imagination. ;-) She wasn't alone!
> > >
> > > Xox
> > >
> > > Bob
> > >
> > >> On Sun, Jan 28, 2018 at 12:15 Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Ouch! Pretty rough words to a little ol' friend but I do get your
> > meaning
> > >> and respect it highly and hope it does not, in any way, put a chink in
> > our
> > >> special relationship.
> > >> Idia
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
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