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Subject: Undercasting the role of Elena in Mefistofele
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 9 Nov 2018 21:54:33 +0000

text/plain (26 lines)

I did see this opera at LOC a while ago. I remember Dessi as Margherita (superb style, the morbidezza in the voice).
I don't remember the Elena.
On records, the strongest casting is Giannina Arangi-Lombardi as Elena, perfect, a drammatica d'agilita.
Tebaldi sang it as her debut role (maybe because it was her debut), but she did sing it in the 1960s in a performance when she also sang Margherita. 
In later recordings, we've got Floriana Cavalli (ouch!), Josella Ligi (who?), and Caballe, who could be ideal, but she sounds more stressed than usual. 
Why is this role often undercast? It's not a comprimaria role by any means.
Why not just have the same singer sing both roles?  (Marta and Pantalis are often doubled, but those are comprimaria roles.)

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