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Thread: Missed Opportunities

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Default Missed Opportunities

    What are some complete opera recordings you wish your favorite artists had made?

    My "favorite opera recordings that never were" both involve Renee Fleming. I wish she had recorded a complete Bellini Il Pirata and/or a complete Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia, the latter with Jennifer Larmore or the under-recorded Sonia Ganassi as Orsini.

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    Senior Member Revenant's Avatar
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    All the opera recordings that Fritz Wunderlich didn't get to make in 1966-1976 because he died at 36 from a fall, thanks to his host who had unsteady rope bannisters installed on the stone staircase in his home. Talk about una bruta sorte.
    "No preluding! Piano pianissimo -- then all will be well." (Posted in the orchestra pit on August 13, 1876)

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    Senior Member deggial's Avatar
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    a proper La clemenza di Tito with Tatiana Troyanos instead of the silly Ponnelle film where her Sesto is a doofus.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    If only it was Ridderbusch as Sachs instead of Adam on the Karajan Meistersinger.
    oh man.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    The most glaring omission must surely be a studio Macbeth, with Callas and Gobbi. Karajan might have been just the conductor for the enterprise.

    I also regret Walter Legge's conservatism, which led him to record Callas in Puccini when she was at her finest in the bel canto repertoire. The only way she got to record Medea was by exercising a get out clause in her contract, as Legge would have nothing to do with it. What a shame there was no studio Anna Bolena or Il Pirata, or Rossini's Armida.

    I also wish we had more of her in French opera. What a magnificent Didon or Cassandre she would have made. Her affinity with Berlioz is apparent from her recording of D'amour l'ardente flamme from his La Damnation de Faust.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    The most glaring omission must surely be a studio Macbeth, with Callas and Gobbi. Karajan might have been just the conductor for the enterprise.

    I also regret Walter Legge's conservatism, which led him to record Callas in Puccini when she was at her finest in the bel canto repertoire. The only way she got to record Medea was by exercising a get out clause in her contract, as Legge would have nothing to do with it. What a shame there was no studio Anna Bolena or Il Pirata, or Rossini's Armida.

    I also wish we had more of her in French opera. What a magnificent Didon or Cassandre she would have made. Her affinity with Berlioz is apparent from her recording of D'amour l'ardente flamme from his La Damnation de Faust.
    Ezekiel? Isaiah? Daniel?-- no, no, . . . and 'no.'

    The prophet who wrote these holy words is known as 'Greg Mitchell.'
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

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    Senior Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I wish Sherrill Milnes had been able to sing and record more of the German repertoire. He's a magnificent Jochanaan in the Leinsdorf recording of Salome, and I can't help wishing we would have had the opportunity to hear him as Pizarro, Wolfram, Telramund, and Hans Sachs.

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    Well, I'd loved also to get a recording that is never going to be, by Ms. Fleming, but in this case "Die Tote Stadt", singing the role of Marie/Marietta.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    A complete Arabella with Schwarzkopf, rather than just the excerpts she recorded.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea with a young , early-sixties Gundula Janowitz.
    "Let me have my own way in exactly everything, and a sunnier and more pleasant creature does not exist." - Thomas Carlyle

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    The most glaring omission must surely be a studio Macbeth, with Callas and Gobbi. Karajan might have been just the conductor for the enterprise.

    I also regret Walter Legge's conservatism, which led him to record Callas in Puccini when she was at her finest in the bel canto repertoire. The only way she got to record Medea was by exercising a get out clause in her contract, as Legge would have nothing to do with it. What a shame there was no studio Anna Bolena or Il Pirata, or Rossini's Armida.

    I also wish we had more of her in French opera. What a magnificent Didon or Cassandre she would have made. Her affinity with Berlioz is apparent from her recording of D'amour l'ardente flamme from his La Damnation de Faust.
    Well, now that the Marschallin Blair has granted you your own book in the Torah I have nothing to add.
    Last edited by Woodduck; May-04-2014 at 04:14.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I do have something to add to Greg's Callas wish list. I wish we had DVDs of all her live performances which the irremediably stupid human race did not film, especially of Medea and Violetta. I hang on to the Covent Garden Tosca Act 2 like a drowning person clinging to the floating fragments of a sunken ship.

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I do have something to add to Greg's Callas wish list. I wish we had DVDs of all her live performances which the irremediably stupid human race did not film, especially of Medea and Violetta. I hang on to the Covent Garden Tosca Act 2 like a drowning person clinging to the floating fragments of a sunken ship.
    Yes, yes, yes!

    Have you seen those tantalising snippets of her in Medea at Covent Garden (silent), and in La Traviata in Lisbon? The picture is dim and distant, but her personality still blazes out. We get sound as well on the Lisbon fragments, and we see how perfectly she matches her moves to the music. Her musicality didn't just extend to her singing.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; May-03-2014 at 23:12.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    I wish Walter Legge had been a fan of stereo.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

    "Life's a long song, but the tune ends too soon for us all." Ian Anderson lyric

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Yes, yes, yes!

    Have you seen those tantalising snippets of her in Medea at Covent Garden (silent), and in La Traviata in Lisbon? The picture is dim and distant, but her personality still blazes out. We get sound as well on the Lisbon fragments, and we see how perfectly she matches her moves to the music. Her musicality didn't just extend to her singing.
    I've seen the Lisbon snippets, and fragments of Medea from La Scala in 1961. These are all moving beyond words. I haven't seen the Covent Garden bits. It's wonderful the way she finds her gestures in the music; it isn't "naturalistic" acting, but it feels completely natural the way vocal and physical gesture arise together out of the musical phrase to find the physical distillation of the music's emotional content. This kind of acting feels timeless, bridging (at least in my imagining) nineteenth-century rhetorical style and twentieth-century "method" acting, and it impresses me much the way Garbo's acting style in film does. Garbo learned her craft in the silent film era, when everything had to be expressed through the body; to watch her is to witness a personal, spontaneous choreography of the actor's whole being (eventually including her voice, which proved a richly expressive instrument). Callas expressed music, while Garbo created, as it were, her own music; and I get from both women a sense of exaltation, a magnification and intensification of normal experience.

    It was interesting to hear Callas say in an interview that she admired Garbo's acting and was inspired in portraying Violetta by Garbo's devastatingly beautiful and moving Camille. She met and talked with Garbo on Onassis's yacht. But I'm not aware that Garbo ever attended a Callas performance.
    Last edited by Woodduck; May-04-2014 at 04:18.

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