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Subject: Dawn Upshaw
From: Roberta Klarreich <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 11 Mar 1996 14:59:17 EST
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I think a response to David Shengold's remarks from the List's foremost
Dawn Upshaw fan is called for.  (If anyone cares to dispute that position
with me, I would be glad to hear from you. :) )

David, have you *seen* Upshaw perform this, or are your reactions only from
the article you quoted?  Because if you didn't see it, your reactions may
be very different from what they would be if you had been at the concert.
I have seen and heard her perform this piece in recital, though not recently,
and I thought it was delightful.  I didn't think there was anything cutesy
about it, nor was she trying to be "down to earth" -- she wasn't *trying*
anything.  She was doing it.  This quality of hers of going straight to the
heart of a song, together with the voice itself, is what has hooked me so
completely.

I have, on occasion, gotten rather tired of the emphasis that is placed in
articles, etc. on Upshaw's un-divaness -- as if people were protesting too
much.  But I have never considered this phenomenon to be her fault, but that
of the media, so why blame her?  Indeed, I remember that the first such
article I ever read about her mentioned how much she hates the way people
make such a big deal about her continuing her career because she is a
mother -- and then made as big a deal about that as any article could be!

Sometimes I am less than satisfied with Upshaw's singing, since I expect
so much from her -- but my dissatisfaction on these occasions does not stem
from a feeling that she is making herself silly, but rather from typical
reasons:  the voice doesn't sound up to snuff, or her approach to a role or
song isn't what I prefer to hear.  When she is silly, it is *on purpose*,
because she thinks silliness is the right approach.  If you don't agree,
fine, but there's no need to put her down, for what she does is valid.

Well, I guess that's (more than) enough. :)  On to another subject:  Dawn
Upshaw is musical director of a three-part series at the 92nd Street Y,
entitled "Voices of the Spirit."  It is a collaboration between her and
various friends/colleagues tracing the spiritual cycle over the course of
three consecutive Wednesdays, starting this week.  Works range from Baroque
to world premieres, and John Harbison conducts.  Among the other singers
taking part at one concert or another are William Sharp (this week), and
two list-discussed singers:  tenor Richard Croft and mezzo Lorraine Hunt.
I will (surprise!) be at all three performances, and if anyone else plans
on going and would like to meet up during intermission, please let me
know.

                                   Regards to all, Roberta Klarreich
                                   [log in to unmask]

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