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Subject: Re: Dramatic Verdian mezzos today
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Feb 2018 13:47:11 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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Oops. Semenchuk's Lady M. was in Los Angeles, not San Francisco. Thanks to
a kind lister who privately asked me about it. I remember it was on the
West Coast but momentarily made this mental swap between LA & SF... :-)
and I DO remember Conlon's absolutely amazing conducting which a few of us
praised on this forum.

Vesna

On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 1:10 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Semenchuk's Amneris was riveting in the recent Salzburg production and
> her Lady Macbeth in San Francisco was quite something, a force of nature to
> say the least.
>
> One more mezzo name, Elena Zhidkova who almost stole the show with her
> Principessa di Bouillon in Vienna. Her recent Eboli was also quite well
> received, though Verdi is not her singular specialty - a versatile mezzo
> with roles ranging from Charlotte and Santuzza to Ortrud. (I have to
> mention how much Stoyanova gave one of the best performances of her life,
> IMO in that same DON CARLO. If anyone thinks that she is interpretatively plain,
> they should check out her spectacular Elisabetta from last summer.)
>
> Vesna
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 11:30 AM, Max Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> 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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