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Subject: Re: The greatest singers who never appeared at the Met
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 8 Oct 2018 17:56:57 +0000
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I've never heard a satisfying explanation for why the Turandot excerpts 
with Turner and Martinelli were not released until the 80's. I've heard 
they thought there was just not much interest in Turandot and had 
concerns over the quality of the live recording, but they remain some of 
the most compelling excerpts from the opera.

Supposedly Turner's appointment in Oklahoma was listed as a "Vice" 
teacher, which gave her considerable enjoyment.

------ Original Message ------
From: "Donald Levine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 10/8/2018 1:39:02 PM
Subject: Re: The greatest singers who never appeared at the Met

>Eva Turner is an interesting case.  No one is quite sure why she never 
>sang
>at the Met.  She was a friend of Giovanni Martinelli who probably could
>have gotten her there.  You have to understand in the mid-late thirties 
>the
>Met had on their roster Ponselle, Rethberg, Cigna, Caniglia, Milanov, 
>all
>singing her repertoire.  Turandot had not been done since 1930 or 31 
>with
>Jeritza.  They were going to revive it in 1940 with Milanov but by then 
>the
>war was raging.  The tenor (Luccioni) was stuck in Europe and the 
>revival
>was cancelled.
>
>After the war, she continued at Covent Garden until 1948.  She was then
>invited to teach at Oklahoma University where she was on the faculty in
>Norman for a number of years. My voice teacher, Jack Harrold knew her 
>well
>and relayed to me a very interesting story about her possible return as
>Turandot in New York.
>She had been approached by Laszlo Halasz at the New York City Opera to 
>sing
>Turandot in 1950.  She actually considered it.  Her colleague in 
>Oklahoma,
>Joseph Bentonelli worked the store with her.  They both came to the 
>same
>conclusion.  That she could sing the role and hit all the notes (she 
>was 58
>at the time) was never in doubt.  Turner felt something not quite right 
>in
>her voice and Bentonelli heard it - an unsteadyness that she had never
>experienced.  Both of them decided that the time had passed and didn't 
>want
>her to expose herself in New York to a possibly hostile critical 
>reaction.
>Jack had heard her in Oklahoma during faculty recitals and had heard 
>her
>teach through the fifties and always said the voice remained in rather
>remarkable condition to an advanced age.
>
>The Turandot went on at the New York City Opera but with Croatian 
>soprano
>Carla Martinis making her New York/American debut.  Now, that is 
>another
>major singer wno never sang at the Met and should have.  She might not 
>have
>been the equal of Milanov but she wasn't far off and certainly superior 
>to
>Herva Nelli and Delia Rigal who did sing at the Met for a number of 
>years
>as back up to Milanov.
>
>As for Milanov, if you listen to the recorded evidence, the Milanov of 
>the
>1930's and 40's was a vastly different singer to the Milanov of the 
>50's
>and 60's.  While the voice might have been more dependable later and 
>the
>technique more refined, the voice itself was a much more thrilling if
>wilder instrument earlier on.  To get her, you have to listen to the 
>best
>broadcasts of the late 30's through about 1946.  There was a reason she 
>was
>favored by Toscanini and Bruno Walter.
>
>As for Mancini, I agree with you.  Something happened to her however.  
>She
>withdrew rather early.  I think by the time she was forty she was 
>finished
>and in her last years might even have sung some mezzo roles.  In her 
>prime,
>she was a phenomenal talent, vocally in the same league as Tebaldi and
>Cerquetti.
>
>Donald

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