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Subject: Re: Dramatic Verdian mezzos today
From: Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Feb 2018 08:30:40 -0800
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The other one I’ve seen give impressive performances recently in these big Verdi mezzo roles is Semenchuk. She has the volume and power when she gives it out, but I’m more aware of her clearly pacing herself than was ever the case with Zajick. She tends to also sit somewhat more toward the soprano side.

I’ve been less impressed with the Bulgarian Krasteva. Sometimes very good but inconsistent.

Max Paley

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 6, 2018, at 07:47, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 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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