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Sediziose voci

La Cieca (not pictured) returns to the chat room tonight, cher public, on the occasion of the broadcast of Norma from the Met starting at 7:25 PM. (Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera)

46 comments

  • aulus agerius says:

    I heard the first half -- I somehow lost the connection a few moments before the conclusion of the trio so I don’t know if there were fireworks or high notes or what.

    I thought Casta Diva was great: really nice phrasing and sculpturing of the line. And she sang in tune for the most part….unlike the tenor. I actually thought her fioriture was pretty sloppy, like in the ‘trema, felon’ section of the trio almost non-existent. And the tone: egad -- acidulated is the word that came to mind often…..as well as not-Callas, not-Sutherland. Sorry about that. Aldrich was strange…kind of unfocused sound, hollow or no core or something. I wouldn’t want to hear this tenor sing anything with any subtlety at all.

    • oedipe says:

      I wouldn’t want to hear this tenor sing anything with any subtlety at all.

      I agree.
      Antonenko will be Otello in the Met’s 2016 new production, you know. Having seen him in the role, his Otello is neurotic and kind of a brute, but it works rather well.

  • I love Callas’s and Caballe’s Normas. Sutherland, Gencer, and a few others were fine. But is everyone aware of the existence of this video? I know many only remember Elinor Ross for that chicken-sounding clip of her Donna Anna, but she was, by any account, a FORMIDABLE Norma. Elemental, powerful, passionate, and commanding.

    Radvanovsky has all the raw material to be the great dramatic soprano and Norma of our time, but she (and almost every other soprano today) would do well to take a cue from Ross and stop trying to micro-manage breathing and placement and all of that hokey nonsense and attack the notes more firmly and directly, sing naturally and frankly with a broader and clearer tone, rather than that boring forced dark timbre.

    • kashania says:

      It’s been a while sings I heard this recording and my recollection is that Ross is uneven. There are times when she is simply blazing. But IIRC, some of the lyrical sections (like “Casta diva”) aren’t on the same high level. But the parts that are good are good enough to make her memorable.

      • la vociaccia says:

        The Casta Diva is wanting in grace, perhaps, but I still prefer it to Radvanovsky. I like a voice that just unfurls; Rad works hard to scale her voice back but for me the end result isn’t ideal.

        And Ross really delivers in the dramatic fioratura, if not the more graceful parts

        • kashania says:

          Yes, the dramatic fioratura sections is where Ross is incredible. All this talk has made me want to pull Deutekom’s recording (with Troyanos) off the shelf. It’s been an age since I heard that one.

  • Poison Ivy says:

    Too bad there are only excerpts but Giannina Arangi-Lombardi’s Norma sounded very special:

  • la vociaccia says:

    You had me at Elinor, but with that boring forced dark timbre I might just have to marry you.

    Thing about Elinor Ross is, she was in the same vocal studio as Roberta peters as a teenager, so she knew how to sing

  • uwsinnyc says:

    wow, that eleanor ross post is really exciting.

    I wish Radvanovsky could command that level of passion in her singing--but still, I would say she is,at least vocally, the finest Norma singing today.