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Subject: Pavarottis Elisir (long)
From: HSok <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:HSok <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 15 Mar 1998 14:42:44 EST

text/plain (64 lines)

In a message dated 98-03-15 00:04:51 EST, Ed Rosen says:

<< Very little has been written today about the broadcast.  At least, very
little has come through to me.  I thought it went well.  Pavarotti sang much,
much better than the prima, when he obviously was not well.  It's amazing how
clear and
beautiful his voice still can be at 60plus.  That being said, I truly
believe that the time has come for him to stop performing in staged
operas.  He is obviously in physical pain.  I understand that his knees and
are the cause of much of this pain.  Why put himself through the rigors
of complete, staged works.  I believe that at least part of the reason he
continues is quite  altruistic.  I think he does it to thank the fans that
have been loyal
to him for so many years, and to help the Met sell tickets.  >>

And John H. Greene says :

<< Like Ed, I am a surprised at how little has been said about today's
performance.  I haven't heard Pavarotti live in a long time and I thought
the voice was a shadow of its former self.  Either that or he was sick.  I
did not hear the ringing tones. I wondered at times if he would make the
high notes. It was really quite sad and I am sorry for him. I know he is
getting along in years, but I can't help wondering if cavorting with a woman
half his age hasn't also contributed to his decline!! >>

Probably the reason there have been so few postings on the Elisir broadcast
with Pavarotti is that there may be some embarrassed listers who have taken to
criticizing Pavarotti lately, and do not want to admit that not only was Pav
in great voice, but the performance was a gem.  Ruth Ann Swenson was a delight
and Paul Plishka was (is) the definitive Dulcamara.

Yes, Pav has physical problems.  His legs are bad and he has a noticeable
limp, and he hardly moves about the stage.  A table is added where he sits
when not required to stand, walk, dance, etc,  and he sips the ubiquitous
drinking water.

But his voice, yesterday, was in great shape. It sounded to me hardly any
different than it did when he was in his prime.  And the audience loved it.
The ovations were not the usual Saturday matinee excesses, but recollections
of earlier ovations, not only of Pavarotti, but similar to those of Callas,
Bjorling, etc.

Perhaps Ed Rosen is right.  Maybe it's time for him to give up staged operas.
He is scheduled for Tosca next season, nevertheless. And John Greene's
comments about convorting with a younger woman does not explain why he has bad
legs. They started going before he met her, and I have never heard that the
process of lovemaking harmed anyone's legs  - lo, most of us would be

And to answer Andrew R Cooper's question about the production, it was produced
by John Copely and designed by Beni Montresor, but I do not believe it to be
the same Copely/Montresor 1962 or 1975 ROH productions, since the program
credits the Annie Laurie Aitken Charitable Trust, and does not mention the
Corbett Foundation that Mr.Cooper says substantially paid for the ROH
productions. I saw this same production in 1996, and it is fresh and fills the
huge Met stage, which is considerably larger than the ROH stage. [I can't be
sure of this - perhaps other listers can tell us].

Perhaps more opinions of Pavarotti's broadcast Elisir will be forthcoming.

Hal Sokolsky
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