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Subject: The wonderful Met/Pav vive/Gaetan Laperriere.
From: William D Kasimer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 17 Mar 1998 08:38:25 -0500

text/plain (99 lines)

As much as I dislike pointing out the obvious...

Hank Strouse <[log in to unmask]> writes:


This may well be true.  The more common scenario, which I believe applies
in this case, is that certain thoughts are repetitively posted at regular
intervals in order to incite such controversy.  Fortunately, this doesn't
work nearly as often as it once did.


Hal Sokolsky writes:

>Probably the reason there have been so few postings on the Elisir
>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
>in great voice, but the performance was a gem.

I think that it's dangerous to assume that silence equals approval.  If I
may take a shot at Hal's strawman here, the reason why I haven't posted
is that
a) I almost never post about Met broadcasts, good or bad.
b) Pavarotti has become a sideshow that rarely warrants comment.

>Ruth Ann Swenson was a delight

I thought that she sounded bored stiff, but it's hard to blame her under
the circumstances, with that choice of suitors.

>and Paul Plishka was (is) the definitive Dulcamara.

That's a pity - I certainly hope to hear far better.

>But his voice, yesterday, was in great shape. It sounded to me hardly
>different than it did when he was in his prime.

Well, de gustibus and all that.  I thought that he sounded like a
dried-out husk of his former self.  Most of it was sung at an unremitting
forte, and at many points he sounded decidedly breathless.  To be fair,
Pavarotti did pull it all together to sing a rendition of "Una furtiva
lagrima" that would give credit to any unhealthy 62 year-old who lacks
much in the way of interpretive nuance.

>And the audience loved it.

To be fair, the audience loved "Una furtiva lagrima".   The applause for
his earlier efforts, particularly that rather pitiful "Quanto e bella",
was polite at best.

I assume that De Candia must have had much more to offer in the house
than over the airwaves, since his Belcore wasn't even up the lofty
standard set by Gino Quilico in last year's broadcast (which, if I
recall, was vilified here).


On Friday, I attended WERTHER at the Boston Lyric Opera.  I have little
to add to Bill Fregosi's comments; the performance was marvelous,
particularly considering that I don't think that it's much of an opera.
I do have a question, though, about one of the performers, Gaetan
Laperriere, the Canadian baritone who sang Albert.  I was thrilled to
find out that he was singing, since I've admired his voice on a recital
recording made several years ago, and wondered why I so rarely read his
name or hear him.  And vocally, he was much as I expected - one might
complain that his voice is monochromatic, but I won't complain when the
one color is that beautiful.  But dramatically he made little impression
at all - he seemed about as self-effacing a performer as I've ever seen.
Was this the singer or the role?  In fairness, it's hard to imagine a
more thankless role than Albert in WERTHER - has anyone seen him in
anything more substantial?


William D. Kasimer  ([log in to unmask])
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