If familiarity breeds contempt, unusual longevity breeds a mixture of admiration and suspicion. We all can name singers who burst onto the scene, commanded attention, and flamed out in less than a decade due to imperfect technique, bad advice, foolish ambition, personal problems. Then, there are the more typical star careers: perhaps 20 or 25 really good years and then off to teaching, with some competition-judging sprinkled in.
But what of those singers who keep hanging around after 35 or 40 years in major roles? What of those who manage to reinvent themselves for second, even third careers in very different repertoire? One may ask how brightly they could they have been burning all along, and how much candle is left. A new Roberto Devereux DVD from Teatro Real, Madrid, taped October 2015, offers an opportunity to appraise the recent work of such a soprano and tenor. Read more »