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Subject: Re: MET Aida Next Season
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:34:11 -0700
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I sent to agree with Max on this one.  First of all, there there were many
great German singers who had no problem with Verdi or Italian style.  I can
just think of three sopranos right off the bat - Johanna Gadski, Elisabeth
Rethberg and Frida Leider - all sang Italian roles, Verdi in particular and
left magnificent recordings.  Then there was the Czech Emmy Destinn?  Was
there ever a better Verdian?  As for the former Yugoslavia, Croatia and
Slovenia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and their singers mostly
gravitated to Vienna and occasionally Italy.  Besides Jurinac and Milanov
there was also Vera Schwarz (Croatian), Daniza Ilitsch (Serbian) and Carla
Martinis, (Croatian).  All very capable Verdians and Aida's of note.  And
their vocal manner bears no semblance to the Russians, most Ukrainians or
other eastern Slavs.  There are always exceptions.  Rosa Raisa and Elena
Ruszkowska were Poles, Salomea Kruscelniska was Ukrainian.  All three made
major careers in Italy.  So, go figure.  And, I haven't even gotten to the
Bulgarians, Romanians and Greeks.  You can't make generalizations.  The
fact we cannot mount a decent Aida today is a whole other issue.

Donald

On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 7:37 PM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think there was much more justification for the stereotype during the
> Iron Curtain days of the 60s and 70s when Russian singers, in particular,
> seemed to demonstrate a very different vocal pedagogy than western singers.
>
> I’ve never found the “Slavic” stereotype to fit singers from the former
> Yugoslavia; think of Jurinac and Milanov for starters.
>
> Max Paley
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Feb 17, 2018, at 08:00, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > No, Stoyanova is certainly not hard-edged. Thank you, Max, for your
> sensitive observation and, as always, your enlightening discussion about
> the vocal demands for different roles. And I can name at least a few more
> but, for the first time since I've been on this list, I'd like to make a
> larger point *and* plea:
> >
> > I never asked my fellow listers this and have been quietly reading all
> kinds of stereotypes about the "Slavic" and "Eastern European" singing,
> almost always in a derogatory manner. Could we please stop generalizing
> along these lines? My language is Slavic (Serbo-Croatian) and I can't
> understand any Russian or Polish (just to pick random examples) except for
> some isolated words. This is as a diverse linguistic branch as are Germanic
> or Romance languages. The same applies to "Eastern Europeans", not just
> ethno-linguistically but also culturally diverse, including different vocal
> traditions and styles.
> >
> > Thank you, Vesna
> >
> >> On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 10:13 AM, Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >> Stoyanova isn’t hard edged.
> >>
> >> Seems that the dolce “O patria mia” high C spooked Harteros off the
> role which is too bad; she can sing the rest of it very beautiful.
> >>
> >> I think Aida is one of the most difficult roles in the entire
> repertoire. It’s so popular that opera houses constantly want it and a
> number of sopranos klutz their way through. Finding a soprano with the size
> of voice for the concertato who also has the fine grained dynamic control
> over her whole range, the needed firmness and steadiness of sound and the
> sheer beauty of sound to do the Nile Scene and Tomb Scene justice is no
> small feat.
> >>
> >> I think it might even be harder to find a really good Aida than it is
> to find a satisfying Tristan or Siegfried.
> >>
> >> In a radio interview in the mid 80s, Eva Marton (whom I first saw as
> Aida in 1977) already posed the question “Who is there who can sing Aida
> today?”
> >>
> >> Max Paley
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPhone
> >>
> >> > On Feb 17, 2018, at 14:51, Ghozel <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > The last great AIDAs were Leona Mitchell and Aprile Millo, both of
> whom inherited the role from Leontyne Price.  They played Aida when the
> current MET production was unveiled almost 30 years ago.
> >> >
> >> > There hasn't been a serviceable Aida since.  Listening to the stream
> of Eastern European sopranos, with their hard edged instruments, bark
> through this role at the MET has turned me off to seeing anyone new in it.
> >> >
> >> > Let's stop pretending we can find good casts for most Verdi anymore.
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