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Subject: Re: So Long Met - Hello World: Post Met Careers
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 30 Jan 2018 23:12:58 -0700

text/plain (113 lines)

Perhaps I can offer some insight as to why Milanov did not continue singing
recitals after her retirement from the Met.  If anyone has heard her
recital of songs issued by RCA in 1954, you can see that she was a good
singer of songs and actually sang beautifully in German and in English.
Throughout her career, from the beginning, Milanov's mentor, musical
collaborator and accompanist was her brother Bozidar, a pianist and
composer of some distinction.  She gave many recitals through the 40's and
50's, always with Bozidar at the piano.  German was her second language so
Schubert, Schumann and Strauss came easily to her linguistically and
musically.  Bozidar Kunc died suddenly in I think 1963 and she took his
death very hard.  After her retirement, I just don't think she had the
desire to work with anyone else.  She had a comfort level with him that was
not transferable.  I think the answer is as simple as that.  She could have
but the desire was no longer there.  And the voice remained into old age.
Without the necessity of singing stage performances, she kept her voice in
shape.  There are some snippets floating around of her teaching showing
that the voice is clearly intact.  I heard one years ago.

Many singers develop particularly close relationships with their
accompanists and these artistic relationships don't alway survive with the
loss of one.  The relationship of the singer, or instrumentalist to their
musical partners is an intensely personal one for some.  As for Victoria De
Los Angeles, I saw her many, many times in recital.  Particularly wonderful
were her occasional collaborations with Alicia De Larrocha.  She could
still charm well into her sixties but the truth is, her husband squandered
the money she earned and she had a handicapped child she had to support.
She sang so long out of necessity - she needed the money.


On Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 2:32 PM, G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>

> Mr. Carver wrote:
> “I always wonder why, as in Milanov's case, why singers retire from the
> stage almost completely when they retire from the MET.  There are so
> many other opera houses around the world. Plus, one could start a recital
> tour.”
> * * * *
> While that may have been very true in the past, for some time now, many
> singers, once they’ve sung their last at the Met, have continued singing
> elsewhere.
> One that springs to mind immediately – because I loved and still love her –
> is Hildegard Behrens.  Her final Met performance was in a 1999 Wozzeck
> which garnered rave reviews for all involved: Grundheber in the title role
> –
> who had only just finished a run of Rigoletto with the company, and
> Levine.
> Behrens continued singing for another 10 years, right up until her sudden
> death at 72, collapsing during a masterclass at the Kusatsa Festival in
> Japan where she was also scheduled to perform a recital.  She had been
> involved and proud of her work at the festival for several years.  She took
> on new roles, including a world premiere of an opera for Berio (who had
> composed it for her), The Kostelnicka in Jenufa, Lady McBeth of Mtsensk
> and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Luinaire.
> At 67 she gave the vocal equivalent of a “monster concert” wherein she
> sang Schumann’s Frauneliebe und Leben, followed by the big monologues
> of 1) the Kostelnicka and 2) Elektra.  After intermission she sang Wagner’s
> Wessendonck Lied, THEN Brunnhilde’s Immolation Scene.  Insane.
> Leontyne Price sang her final operatic role, Aida, at the Met in 1985.
> While
> never appearing again in an opera she did she continue giving recitals for
> another dozen years.  I attended one of her last – she was 70 – and still
> sounded magnificent offering a formidable program of arias by Handel,
> Mozart, Verdi and Puccini, and songs by Rorem, Strauss and Hoiby, with
> about a handful of encores.
> Then there’s the case of Renata Scotto last seen on the Met stage in a
> 1987 Butterfly, but continued singing, not only recitals, but new major
> roles, including the Marschallin, Elle (La Voix Humaine), Madame Flora (The
> Medium), Kundry, Klytemnestra, Charlotte (Werther) and Ewartung.  For
> someone who made their stock-in-trade as an Italian singer in Italian
> roles,
> her post-Met career seems to have been primarily German and French.  In
> addition to singing, Scotto also taught and directed – a lot.
> Three great ladies!
> p.
> **********************************************
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