Hi all and a happy upcoming Independence Day,
Bob Rideout mentions the wonderful Otello we saw back at the 1976 Paris visit
to the Met. I heartily concur,as I was bowled over by the beauty and richness of
Margaret Price,the magnificent Gabriel Bacquier,who is one of my all-time
favorite singers. I loved the man in this and in other roles (still my favorite
Scarpia.)I happen to be partial to the "French baritone sound" of Van
Dam,Borthayre,Masard,etc. and you know in his 70's the great Bacquier is still
I was also very impressed with Cossutta,who sang with beauty and power and not
a "provincial" sound, as I had once thought.
I also agree that the great Leonie did have her 'slight problems" as in the
Nabucco as an example, where she did some of the all-time worst sliding around
the notes,and the big holes in the voice were evident;however she was still one
of the most sensational singers of the century. Let's face it, many of the
greats were heavily flawed...like my beloved Moedl (listen to the Met Siegfried
broadcast and the last "C" which exists only in outer space) and Olivero,Gencer,
etc. Remember Charlie's famous "A and B lists" where the great artists like
Callas and Tauber and Gobbi are in the "A' column (Kunsst) and the great
"sounds" of Tebaldi,Milanov,Flagstad,Sutherland,Merrill,etc. are in the "B"
column (Stimm). Only a rare few are in BOTH columns..Who are they???? Ludwig is
Mr. Mun just discovered Helen Traubel. She had one of the richest voices of
the century, very similar to Eileen Farrell,although Traubel' s top was very
limited in much of her career. However it is a breathtaking quality and some of
my friends DID like her more than Flagstad..so Mr. Mun is not off base. There
are many complete operas on CD with her,but since they are Met perf.you have to
get them from Europe,as I posted recently. Remember when Mr.Bing fired her for
singing in nightclubs the joke was "Nobody knows the Traubel I've seen!" She is
a RIOT with the great Jimmie Durante (who,by the way,was a close friend of my
madre when she was on the stage).
Just received the latest copy of the Parterre Box ,creation of our beloved
Jeeemie Jorden (the only Jeemie I know who does not carry a towel on his
shoulder). Of course,I was totally SHOCKED when I read that " opera is not porn"
section. However I must admit that I do have proof that opera directors and
designers are getting on the "Oh Calcutta' bandwagon and succumbing to the
Sadaamian and Gloccamorian elements in society. My Antwarped Turandot and
Amsterdam Salome are uncut evidence of this. I may cancel my subscription and
use the money to purchase the Watchtower.