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Thread: Callas the Greatest Operatic Actor... BUT there are other great talents. Name them.

  1. #16
    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    Here are my nominees.

    Waltraud Meier, Brilliant Klytemnestra and anything else really!

    Joyce Didonato, Always puts her character over well, always believable

    Mara Zampieri (really Liked her Tosca ROH '86 when she stood in for Natalia Troitskaya)

    Catherine Malfitano just for pure effort. A real trooper!

    Elena Obraztsova, probs not a popular choice but she scared the pants off me as Azucena, broke my heart as Santuzza.


    Sir Thomas Allan, Yep local lad,

    Gobbi oh yep...Scarpia... eek!

    Ramon Vargas, such a cutie who would know!. Had me in tears in the Met's Boheme.
    Last edited by Badinerie; Feb-15-2016 at 00:51.
    Did I miss something already?

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badinerie View Post
    Here are my nominees.

    Waltraud Meier, Brilliant Klytemnestra and anything else really!

    Joyce Didonato, Always puts her character over well, always believable

    Mara Zampieri (really Liked her Tosca ROH '86 when she stood in for Natalia Troitskaya)

    Catherine Malfitano just for pure effort. A real trooper!

    Elena Obraztsova, probs not a popular choice but she scared the pants off me as Azucena, broke my heart as Santuzza.


    Sir Thomas Allan, Yep local lad,

    Gobbi oh yep...Scarpia... eek!

    Ramon Vargas, such a cutie who would know!. Had me in tears in the Met's Boheme.

    Oh yes, Thomas Allen! Having seen him in the famous LA BOHEME video (Covent Garden), I honestly think he must be one of the greatest-ever operatic actors.

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  5. #18
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentio View Post
    Woodduck, you may have had it already, but I really enjoy Frida Leider Society's cleaning and remastering for that 1933 Tristan:


    Btw, speaking of an Italianate and feminine Isolde-the Irish princess (not Isolde-the matronly grandmother of Tristan, as many sopranos make her sound like), Giuseppina Cobelli, the reigning diva at La Scala in the late 1920s, may be a good candidate. Unfortunately, too little of her Isolde is left, and it is in even poorer sound than Leider's:


    We may go back even further to Johanna Gadski, who was also known for her great acting:

    Immense thanks for posting that 1930 La Scala performance with Cobelli! Absolutely shattering. De Sabata is transcendent in the pit, the emotional intensity of the whole cast is unbelievable. I've never cried at Kurwenal's death before! Singing and acting were more emotional in those days, and they had the vocal technique to do it without hurting themselves. We'd never hear anything so fearless now. Maybe we're also hearing the determination of Italians to bring this "difficult" music to their countrymen in the most powerful way they can. You can hear the audience going mad at the end. I would too. I wonder if Callas sang Isolde under De Sabata?

    I love Gadski. On recordings that old we're getting only an approximation of her vocal timbre, but by God she could sing, and she sang practically everything from Mozart to Wagner. Some of her recordings are my favorite versions of the excerpts in question.

    I wasn't aware that more of Leider's Isolde existed. How much of it is on that Leider Society recording?
    Last edited by Woodduck; Feb-15-2016 at 01:16.

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    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    Oh yes, Thomas Allen! Having seen him in the famous LA BOHEME video (Covent Garden), I honestly think he must be one of the greatest-ever operatic actors.
    I saw him in 87 at Covent Garden As Marcello on Saturday afternoon and as Rodolfo for Domingo during the week. Cost me the whole months bonus and then some, but it was worth it!
    A Magical week at the ROH!
    Last edited by Badinerie; Feb-15-2016 at 01:18.
    Did I miss something already?

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  8. #20
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Natalie Dessay yet.
    Joyce DiDonato, Jonas Kauffmann, Simon Keenlyside and Peter Mattei are pretty good too.

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    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Il Maestro View Post
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Natalie Dessay yet.
    Joyce DiDonato, Jonas Kauffmann, Simon Keenlyside and Peter Mattei are pretty good too.
    I saw Mattei in TANNHAUSER in HD last October and could not take my eyes off of him whenever he was onstage. An amazing presence.
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Feb-15-2016 at 01:34.

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  11. #22
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    I will add Hildegard Behrens & Maria Ewing to the list. Also from what bits I have seen, probably Danielle de Niesse.
    On the male side, Herman Prey and Paolo Montarsolo

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  13. #23
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    I add; Julia Migenes , smashing Carmen , Malfitano, Fleming and Gheorghiou

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    Senior Member Diminuendo's Avatar
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    I'd add my favorite tenors Di Stefano, Del Monaco and Corelli.
    "First I sing loud. When I start to run out of breath I sing softer" Giuseppe Di Stefano on his Faust high c diminuendo

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  17. #25
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adair View Post
    My vote is for Sena Jurinac.
    I think she's rather principal boy-like in the Schwarzkopf Der Rosenkavalier, though she sings divinely of course. Which reminds me Schwarzkopf was a pretty good actress.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Badinerie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    I add; Julia Migenes , smashing Carmen , Malfitano, Fleming and Gheorghiou
    I remember going to see the Migenes Carmen movie at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton when it came out she was very much at home on the big screen. I must pick up the dvd for old times sake!
    Did I miss something already?

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Teresa Stratas has already been mentioned, and, though the voice was not the greatest you will hear, she was an amazing stage performer, her acting always entirely in tune with the music. She is still the best Susanna I've ever seen. Joyce DiDonato is a fantastic actress. So too was Dame Janet Baker.

    Thinking of some of the performances of my youth, I'd add Josephine Barstow, Valerie Masterson, Philip Langridge (superb as Grimes and De Vere), Boris Christoff (I caught one of his last King Philips) and Agnes Baltsa (one of the funniest Dorabellas I've ever seen, but also superb as Carmen, Eboli, Isabella and Adalgisa).

    Domingo got better and better as an actor as his career progressed. Seen as well as heard, his Otello was as riveting as any straight actor's Othello.

    I'd also nominate Simon Keenlyside, an amazing actor in a variety of different roles.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  21. #28
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    I am not as familiar with many singers, but Beverly Sills and Waltraud Meier come to mind as being right up there among the greatest operatic singers who could definitely also act.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Angela Gheroghiu was pretty good at first. I saw her as Nina in Massenet's Cherubin, then in the Traviata that propelled her to stardom. She was a very natural actress then and also when I saw her a few years later as Adina. Nowadays she seems prone to quite a bit of semaphore-like arm waving. All a bit mannered.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    Angela Gheroghiu was pretty good at first. I saw her as Nina in Massenet's Cherubin, then in the Traviata that propelled her to stardom. She was a very natural actress then and also when I saw her a few years later as Adina. Nowadays she seems prone to quite a bit of semaphore-like arm waving. All a bit mannered.
    She graduated from diva to Diva

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