Dear Chris and listers:
It's been a long while since I've posted to the list but, after reading
this heart-felt tribute to Rosa Ponselle, I just couldn't resist. I had
tears in my eyes after reading Chris' post. Thank you so much, Chris, for
sharing your thoughts with us. I only wish I could see those costumes, too.
What a terrific idea to exhibit the costumes of famous singers. It would be
great if a traveling exhibit could be sent to various opera venues around
the country so that we could all see them.
Way back in 1962, in Lubbock, Texas, when I was a freshman in college, I
found an album of five lp's from RCA Victor called TEN GREAT SINGERS. In
it, one record side was devoted to Rosa Ponselle. This was the first time I
ever heard her voice and it was a revelation to me. In fact, she was the
first singer from the era of 78 recordings who just swept me off my feet.
To hear that incredibly beautiful sound, perfectly even from top to bottom,
the seamless legato and Ponselle's elegant musicianship and phrasing took
my breath away. The first aria I heard from the album was from Spontini's
LA VESTALE, "Tu che invoco" and I played it again and again. I now have
much of Ponselle on cd's and I listen to her often. To hear that voice in
that aria never fails to transport me back to those days of discovering my
love of great singing and great voices. If I were a voice teacher, Ponselle
would be required listening for my students. What a lesson on singing on
the interest and not the principal of the voice. If a time machine existed,
I would want to see and hear Ponselle live at the Met!
I recently purchased the Ponselle Villa Pace cd's and am so glad not to
have to play my scratchy lp's any longer. And the inclusion of all the
unreleased materials on the cd's as well as the radio interview are
terrific to hear. What a shame she retired so early. If you've not heard
the singing of this great artist, you are in for a treat, IMHO!!
[log in to unmask]