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Cesare Siepi 1923 – 2010

Cesare_SiepiLa Cieca has just heard that the legendary basso cantante, star of well over 400 performances at the Met, died earlier today in Atlanta.

Here is Cesare Siepi over the course of more than two decades, singing music from La favorita, Don Carlo, Le nozze di Figaro, La gioconda, Don Giovanni, Ernani, Faust and Norma.

Siepi Tribute

And here, Siepi in 1970 (20 years after the Don Carlo selection in the audio clip above) again singing “Ella giammai m’amò.”

96 comments

  • Clita del Toro says:

    Our “dear,” bullshit Tommasini writes in Siepi’s obit:
    “For some, Mr. Siepi’s artistry, though distinguished, lacked enough daring. Peter G. Davis summed up this concern in an entry on Mr. Siepi for the 1992 New Grove Dictionary of Opera. He “could always be relied on for intelligent, consistently professional performances, rather than interpretations of arresting artistic individuality,” Mr. Davis wrote.”

    WHAT!!~I have never heard this criticism of Siepi. His interpretations were imnsho, quite memorable--like-- they stay with me today as the very best.
    Not “Daring”??? What does that mean--putting your head in the orchestra pit? Doing flips? Specializing in Mefisto roles--Showing your bare chest??? Jerking off on the stage? Stretching your voice beyond its capabilities?

    I think that he was thinking of Pape when he wrote that.

    • brooklynpunk says:

      Clita:

      Shouldn’t your beef be more with Peter G. Davis, then with Tommasini--who is, in this case, just reporting what others are on record, having said?

      An obituary for a famous person…even as beloved an Artist as Siepi was, doesn’t have to be a fawning love-feast, without stating any opposing thoughts…nu?

      With all due respect…is it just a case of Tommasini-phobia on your part…?

  • Clita del Toro says:

    Brooklyn:

    I realize that Tommasini included the quote for “balance.” DUH! LOL And Tomm. was the one who included the quote, not Davis. Right? it was his choice.
    I don’t mind the inclusion of negative criticisms in obits, as I have read in my dear Maria’s and others’.

    I was surprised because I have NEVER, EVER heard that criticism of Siepi--and I saw everything he sang in the 50′s and 60′s. No one on the opera line at the old Met or anyone else that I knew even hinted that.
    Maybe about Jerome Hines, but not Siepi.
    I guess Tommasini couldn’t come up with anything else to write???