A strongly opinionated pen pal of mine has complained vividly for several
years about the poor quality (as he saw it) of Aprile Millo's operatic
performances; as such he was puzzled at my enthusiastic review of her Tosca
at the Met two weeks ago. A "dumpling" of La Millo's Roman diva was duly
dispatched, and today I received his response:
"Thanks *so much* for the Millo tape. I see what you mean. It's rather
amazing -- not perfect, but *so much better* than previously. I wonder if
she's found a new teacher? There are still iffy moments around G/A-flat --
but what the hell!!!"
Some very quick highlights of the Licia Albanese Puccini Italian Verismo
Bel Canto Performing Arts Society [etc] awards this PM:
Mistress of Ceremonies Patrice Munsel in a PINK pageboy wig ("bad hair
day") and that utterly glamorous speaking voice.
Alfredo Kraus singing both the Lamento di Frederico and "La donna e mobile"
with a still=blazing top and aristocratic phrasing.
Renata Scotto called backstage unexpectedly, running down the aisle and
miming "I can't jump up onto the stage" before crossing the whole
auditorium beaming and waving to the audience (she also had a queue of
autograph-seekers extending into the lobby).
Old-smoothie turns by Lucine Amara (her first attempt at "Depuis le jour"
in 35 years), Bonaldo Giaiotti ("La calunnia") and Madame Bumbarina herself
(a very sleek Seguidilla, and, man, was that lace dress *painted* on!)
My favorite of the young singers was Shon Sims, a cute little hunk of a
baritone who sang Harlekin's aria with smooth legato and a winning
Far too many blah little lyric sopranos in very expensive dresses -- if
only they would spend so much money on learning proper style and diction!
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