Cher Public

three tenors

Premiere Opera Podcast has returned after a hiatus of several months, and, as always, Ed Rosen keeps us up to date with the latest tenor activities. Recent episodes include excerpts from a duo recital (Juan Diego Flòrez and Rolando Villazòn) and a Lucia scene from Stephen Costello.

  • Now, dear Nerva, I believe you are encroaching on Mme. Quickly’s territory here. So long as you’ve started the ball rolling, let me just add that La Cieca could sing Laura tomorrow — it’s just a matter of a nimble-fingered dresser and a big of ventriloquism in Act One.

  • Cocky: at not-yet-20, Famous Quickly was already ageless!

  • Famous Quickly

    How DARE you mock me, Miss Nelli!

    You were an insignificant cover artist kept afloat professionally only by your— *relation*— to Toscanini. I am proud never to have shared the stage of the Metropolitan Opera with an artistic nullity like you.

    *Of course* I would acknowledge that there have been other fine Klytemnestras-- just not during MY time in the role.
    Mme. Elisabeth Hoengen worked very well in support of my Chrysothemis, and I was told by Mme. Rose Pauly that Mme. Kerstin Thorborg was very fine in the part.

  • Nerva Nelli

    Get over it, Quickly!

    I always liked Jean Madeira better, to say nothing of Hoengen ( “Dyke, ya know”) who I am given to understand sang and acted you off the stage in your one-time-only stab at Chrysothemis in 1952.

  • Harold

    Girls, Girls! You’re both pretty.

  • Harold

    RareGems195: So you can predict the future? The grapes are still on the vine and you’re already critiquing the wine. From Costello’s resume, it looks like Levine isn’t the only one who likes him, and he’s just starting out. Give him time and we’ll see what happens. You think he sounds terrible, while other people think he sounds wonderful. To each his own. However, your passionate hatred of a young singer is really ugly. Is that what this art form has done for your character? How sad. What is it about Costello that inspires such passion? I think if you really thought he were mediocre, you just wouldn’t care. Give your therapist a call.

  • ChevalierDupin

    If I might be so bold as to interject a thought. It is to my understanding that comparing the career progression of one generation to another is rather moot. We understand, from our analysis of operatic history and knowledge of the modern operatic industry, that the preparation of a voice is considerably diverse today from what it once was. According to a colleague of mine, a respected American vocal coach who predominantly works in Europe and has had the honor to coach alongside some of the most reknowned singers of our time, has pointed out that since the early Baroque until perhaps 25-30 years ago, lyrical singers began training at very early ages and were constantly under the observation and guidance of their teacher. Many were sent to live with their teachers along with the other students, and thus lessons (in all subjects, not least music and vocal training) would be administered. In effect, the child would be singing each and every day (including religious services) and the maestro/a would be omnipresent to guide the young singer’s voice through the early stages of development and into maturation. As a result, singers, like Famous Quickly, would have already acquired a virtually complete, secure, and fearless technique with which to apply to many roles under intense conditions that few singers today, even with several years of performing experience, would be unable to handle.
    I surmise that this is the main point of interest in this discussion. Comparing a 27 year old singer participating in the contemporary operatic scene is quite different from a 27 year old singer in 1960, 1935, or 1821; the level of technical preparation has slowed down over time.

    In this context, I believe we are better able to understand why so many teachers, coaches and conductors (as well as listeners) might share similar sentiments of adversity concerning the vocal abilities and repertoire selections of current operatic performers, regardless of age.

    {Chev. C.A. Dupin}

  • ChevalierDupin

    Forgive the error, as my comment was composed in haste. The line should read “…that few singers today[…]would be able to handle.”

    {Chev. C.A. Dupin}

  • elva miller

    Baby Astrid Varnay “was swaddeled in the lower drawer of the dressing room table of young Kirstin Flagstad.” (Wikipedia) How many of you ageless divas who remember Pauline Viardot can top that for getting Opera in your blood?