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Subject: Re: Vishnevskaya
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 9 Jul 2018 17:00:38 -0400

text/plain (137 lines)

It sounds just about right to me, and I am not a Netrebko

I woud not confuse being on the right side of issues with being
famous or popular.

First off. they were not breaking down any doors to see her at the
Met. She sang exactly 6 performances there, 4 Aidas and 1 Butterfly
in 1961, which were not sold out, and she returned 14 years later
for a single Tosca. I loved her, and lots of other opera goers loved her,
but she didn't take New York or the Met by storm. I attended 2 of her
NYC recitals and they were decently attended, no more.

Anna Netrebko, like her or not, and I don't, is a megastar just about
everywhere. Her name on a poster has, does and will continue to
assure sold out house just about anywhere she appears. There is
no comparison in name recognition between her and Vishnevskaya.

BTW, Raymond Ericson's review of her Met Tosca contains not one
word about that performance, at least as quoted by you. I assure
you, it was wonderful!

The fame that some find in history books is "oft interred with their bones".


On Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 16:36 G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>

> To state Netrebko’s fame is greater than Vishnevskaya’s sounds  . . . just
> odd to me.  Netrebko, who declared women who are sexually
> abused “allowed it” to happen, simply can't compare to to the former great
> soprano as renowned for her tireless charitable efforts as she was her
> musical career and whose obituary began:
> “Galina Vishnevskaya, an electrifying soprano who endured repression and
> exile as one of the postwar Soviet Union’s most prominent political
> dissidents, died on Tuesday in Moscow. She was 86 . . .  wife of the
> celebrated cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, was renowned both
> as an emotional singer with a polished technique and as a charismatic
> actress. . . . At the Bolshoi she breathed new life into stodgy Soviet-era
> productions with dynamic interpretations … from 1952 through 1974, she
> performed more than 30 roles . . . rarely allowed to sing in the West at
> the
> height of her powers in the 1960s and ’70s, she drew rave reviews when
> she did. “Galina Vishnevskaya’s appearances at the Metropolitan Opera are
> like a comet’s, sudden, infrequent, capable of lighting up the sky,”
> Raymond Ericson wrote in The New York Times, reviewing her performance
> in the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca” in 1975.”
> “She reigned as prima donna assoluta at the Bolshoi Theater for two
> decades. She also enjoyed unusual international prestige as a concert
> singer, and both Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten composed
> major works for her.”
> Wherever she appeared, there was a clamor, her recitals sold out and she
> was admired not merely by adoring fans but by other serious artists,
> composers and writers.  She was always glamorous, regal and classy.  That
> she achieved all of this during the Soviet era where the greatest artists
> could often be treated no better than buskers, is significant by its own
> merits.
> merits.
> Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich were like royalty during their decades in
> Washington, they lived like the King and Queen of DC in their luxury
> apartments.  Whenever people spoke of her appearances they never failed
> to include her tailor-made gowns and the stunning jewelry of emeralds and
> diamonds she frequently always described as having cost “a king’s
> ransom.”
> Vishnevskaya’s first film, Michael Shapiro’s take on
> Shostakovich’s “Katerina Ismailova” garnered her raves for her singing and
> acting, selected for viewing at the world’s most famous film festival –
> the
> 1967 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for the Festival’s highest award,
> the Palme d'Or.
> Four decades later, Alexander Sokurov, one of the greatest Russian
> directors of our time, wrote and directed perhaps his most moving, well-
> received films – an unusual anti-war film, for the 82 year old soprano
> that
> landed it and her on every major critic’s “Top Ten” lists.  In only the
> second
> film of her her career, Madame Vishnevskaya found herself once again, the
> lead in a film nominted for the Palme d’Or.
> Galya and Slava appeared on television and, held a news conference when
> they were stripped of their Soviet Citizenship, declared “Enemies of the
> People” for their friendship and support (including sheltering) Aleksandr
> Solzhenitsyn.
> She created the Vishnevskaya Opera Center - which was no mere vanity
> project or flash-in-the-pan festival, but where she spent the last 20
> years
> of her life teaching, training, encouraging and directing young singers
> for
> careers in opera.  The Center, now run by she and Slava's daughter, Olga,
> has established itself as one of the most vital parts of the Moscow
> cultural
> scene, hosting not just productions from the Center's student programs,
> but theatre, and performances by great artists of every medium.
> There is a difference between artistic achievement and  pop culture-
> type “fame.”  One can be bought with publicity machines, and hype,
> ultimately meaning very little in the grand scheme of things.  The other,
> yields a fame that lands in history books – and lasts forever.
> p.
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