I also liked the post about Sutherland. Mr Bowman should come out of lurkdom
I'd like to add a couple of words about acting in a verismo fashion. I'm not
quite sure what this is supposed to mean. Mary Garden was considered to have
an astonishing stage presence. She was hailed for her acting ability and the
truthfulness she brought to operatic performances. However, when you read
the reviews, they talk about the wonderful "attitudes" she struck, etc. In
other words, think silent movies. Silents may seem corny to us now, but that
was considered good acting then, and those funny old films were made in the
hayday of verismo.
What Callas did was not verismo acting, at least in the sense that it
represented stage deportment in the 1890s through what? 1920? As has been
often noted before, our interest in authentic performance practice musically
has not extended to dramatic recreations of what went on. I'm not sure it
As for making singing sound too easy, that's a good point. I particularly
think of Behrens' Brunhilde of about 10-12 years ago. Part of the excitement
was listening to her sing through her vocal limitations. I never got that
kind of excitement form Nilsson, who could sing circles around Behrens.
Happy holidays to all.