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Subject: Re: your mail(Ortrud)
From: Tobias Abse <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Tobias Abse <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 4 Mar 1997 17:01:56 +0000

text/plain (59 lines)

On Thu, 27 Feb 1997, Don Weightman wrote:

Lovely sounds and bad characters:
> Listened to a '30's LOHENGRIN the other night. The pace did not do wonders
> for my pulse, but the cast was Lehmann, and Melchior and all those folks.
> Anyway, on this listening I was particulalry struck with Marjorie Lawrence
> as Ortrud. Lovely lovely singing. I'm no Wagnerian, and so I write out of
> fathomless ignorance, but I felt some incongruity between the beauty of the
> sound and the ugliness of the sense. Is this loveliness within the usual
> range of Ortruds? Can others think of examples where a really
> baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad character (evil, not 'baaaaad ' in the street sense of
> 'attractive outlaw') got some really drop-dead gorgeous singing? Like a
> Kostelnicka? Or  a H&G Witch?
It's a fascinating question - we (well chiefly Dave Hall and I) have ben
discussing this on the list with reference to Gwynneth Jones' performance
of Ortrud at Covent Garden - which he thought was "dire", but which I
thought was very effective! (We did see it on different nights, so perhaps
she just wasn't in good form when Dave saw it).But what I found effective
was precisely the edge of hardness/roughness she gave to her voice -
because that's what you need for Ortrud, I would have thought - it
wouldn't be so effective dramatically if you had two sopranos producing
ethereal high notes, not for this scene, there has to be a contrast.
        But the actual vocal line itself isn't ugly, is it?
Anyone else got any thoughts on this?
Dr. Jane Susanna ENNIS
[log in to unmask]
"Fortunately, she has not suffered the fate of the many, whom Wagner's
productions have driven into lunatic asylums....."
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Apology:
> Turns out that when I sent the ASCII code for exotic characters the other
> day, I didn't:
> --- specify that this wouldn't work on email based on ANSI code (as much
> Windows=based software seems to be) or Mac or Unix
> -- remember that my message would fill the screens of the non-ASCII List
> with garbage.
> Sorry for the thoughtlessness.
> cheers
> .............................................
> Don
> Donald Weightman
> dweightman@ (day)
> [log in to unmask] (evenings & recreation)

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