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Subject: Re: MET Aida Next Season
From: Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:05:24 -0500
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In absolute agreement, Max.

I assume it was clear that I was referring to the comment by another lister
that there hasn't been a "serviceable Aida" at the Met since April Millo
and Leona Mitchell and, as the comment continues, "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."

FWIW, I did look at the Met database and since 1991 when Aprile Millo and
Leona Mitchell sang Aida, there have been about 22 sopranos in this role
and only 7 of them were "Eastern European". Sharon Sweet sang 36 times, the
highest number of performances, followed by Monastyrska (16), Deborah Voigt
(15), etc.

Vesna

On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:37 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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