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Subject: Re: Dramatic Verdian mezzos today
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Feb 2018 08:47:52 -0700
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I'm not sure are all on the same page.  Yes, Sonia Ganassi and Elina
Garanca sing Eboli.  Eboli is also a role that can also be sung by a
well-upholstered dramatic soprano.  I think what we are saying is that the
lack of a true dramatic mezzo is the problem.  Both are lyric mezzo's who
have moved to a heavier repertoire.  I'm not so certain that their voices
developed the requisite heft or power along the way.  Of course, I haven't
heard Ganassi in the house in years so for all I know she might have.  We
will see with Garanca.  So far, everything I've heard in the heavier rep
seems to be a size or two big for her.  Time will tell. Anita Rach... is in
the middle of a marvelous run of Azucena's in NY.  She has done Amneris at
La Scala and no doubt will sing all the big roles.  I also heard her in
some of the Russian rep.  She is a remarkable talent.

Donald

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 3:02 AM, Maria Louise Augusta Helleberg <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Sonia Ganassi does sing Eboli. So does Elina Garanca. Buty the Russian
> girls seems to have taken over thet repertoire -
> the last 5 Amneris-mezzos I have heard were either Russian or Ukrainian.
> Anita Rach could do Amneris, Eboli but theatres seem to want her primarily
> for Carmen.
> Maria Helleberg
>
> 2018-02-05 21:16 GMT+01:00 David Kubiak <[log in to unmask]>:
>
> > As to the collapse of Italian singing, I think we tend to underestimate
> how
> > close we were for a long time to the sources of the tradition.  Tebaldi
> and
> > Corelli's parents might have known Puccini; she made her debut with a
> > conductor who played in the orchestra at the first 'Otello'.  Loss of
> > connection to that tradition, plus the world-wide plummet in musical
> taste,
> > and the fact that even the people who do study classically boast that
> they
> > never listen to older singers, is inflicting what i believe will
> eventually
> > be a fatal blow to the art form.
> >
> > I saw recently what I thought was a very thought-provoking YouTube clip
> of
> > Domingo in 'Stifelio' in 1995, which I mention only with great respect
> for
> > the tenor.  He sounds fine for a few bars, although looks distressed.
> Then
> > all of a sudden, he began a phrase that could only be described as
> sounding
> > like a squeeking mouse.  He tried again; same result.  Then he put his
> hand
> > on his heart and shook his head to the audience.  My thought was how
> > incredibly difficult a human art must be when the slightest inflammation
> of
> > a tiny piece of the body can make the difference between hurling
> 'Esultate'
> > to the back of the house, and sounding like a trapped rodent.  I think
> > great
> > operatic singing just takes too much effort and is too precarious a way
> to
> > make a living for the vast majority of young people today, in Italy or
> > elsewhere -- if they decide to sing at all it's just much easier to
> scream
> > and not worry too much.
> >
> > That said, who again was the Azucena on the 'Trovatore' broadcast
> > yesterday?
> >  She sounded like the real thing.  I did not in the least like the
> Manrico
> > and Leonora.  The latter screamed, and the former sounded like he was
> doing
> > an unsuccessful imitation of Jonas Kaufmann -- thick, congested singing
> > with
> > oddly deformed vowels.
> >
> > David Kubiak
> >
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