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Subject: Re: Mefistofele (excerpts) from the Met today, as heard on WQXR
From: Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 1 Dec 2018 19:03:24 -0500
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Hi Vesna

Leaving the rest aside, Norman Treigle? He had NO voice. I saw/heard
him in Giulio Cesare and Mefistofele, and, though he had a fabulous
stage manner, his voice was among the least impressive I ever heard,
in any category, from Coloratura Soprano to Basso Profondo. Ar least
to my ears;-)

Ramey, btw, was very disappointing when I saw him at the Met around
2000, or so. It was late, I would agree, with anyone who makes that
observation.

I'll take the young Christian Van Horn over either of them, any day!

Bob

On Sat, Dec 1, 2018 at 18:46 Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Ditto to all except that, while I agree about Van Horn as a great talent,
> in my view his voice didn't have the heft for the kind of bass needed for
> this role (De Angelis, Siepi, Neri, Treigle, Ramey, ...). He is a
> bass-baritone and it showed, but what a magnificent singing and he did have
> the vocal range for the role, just not the right timbre to my ear. I do
> love this opera, though it is uneven as Bob said, but it has many of the
> glorious parts that I would not tire from listening over and over again.
>
> Vesna
>
> On Sat, Dec 1, 2018 at 6:12 PM Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>> I heard it pretty much the way Bob did today, however I listened to all
>> of it.
>> The prologue was stunning in its beauty with stellar choral singing and
>> orchestra playing.
>> Fabbiano did fine with “Dai campi” but sounds continually forced to my
>> ears.  I never hear relaxed, free tone coming from him.
>> I liked Van Horn very much.  He sounded continually in control and his
>> interpretation was always interesting.
>> I simply do not care for Meade’s voice.  I do not hear beauty, color or
>> expression.
>> Check was ok.
>> I liked the choral work better than Bob.  They have a huge variety of
>> singing to do in this piece and they do it well.
>> The performance was compelling for me which usually means that the
>> conductor was doing his job.
>> This piece deserves to be performed more often.
>>
>> Ron Magnuson
>>
>> > On Dec 1, 2018, at 5:24 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> >
>> > Hello everybody
>> >
>> > I listened from the Prison Scene to the end. I had intended to hear
>> > the Prologue, too, which is a Wow, no matter how poorly sung, and I
>> > forgot.
>> >
>> > There is definitely an hour of good to great music in Mefistofele, and,
>> > outside of the Prologue, I think I heard all of it. Even some sections
>> > of the scenes I heard are hard to take, at least for me.But, there is
>> > some very impressive stuff
>> >
>> > The Singers
>> >
>> > Christian Van Horn is a very fine, maybe great singer, with range,
>> > musicality and depth of tone. I very much look forward to seeing
>> > how his career develops. I suspect greatness is in those cards.
>> >
>> > Angela Meade continues to disappoint me. Bad intonation, unpleasant
>> > entrances and exits from trills, too loud most of the time, and much
>> > too much "chest" all of the time. I've said this before; I'll never like
>> > her much.
>> >
>> > Michael Fabiano was in pretty good shape today. At times he shows
>> > strain. but then, a superb top above the staff will pop out. The voice
>> > is in better shape than a year ago, but red flags are still flying.
>> >
>> > Elena deserves better than Jennifer Check. She actually has among
>> > the most impressive music in the opera, and it will thrill when it
>> > receives the respect it deserves.
>> >
>> > An aside - I have no idea what that audience was responding to when
>> > they greeted Ms. Meade at the final curtain. They certainly did not
>> agree
>> > with me, but then, that happens as often as not.
>> >
>> > The conducting sounded fine, though the chorus and orchestra were
>> > far from perfect, and the balances on the radio were not good.
>> >
>> > Bob
>> >
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