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

  1. #76
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Has Chaliapin been mentioned? I obviously never saw him on stage, but his reputation as an actor is legendary.

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  3. #77
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    Most, if not all artists, are prone to hyperbole and Sabata, I imagine would be no exception to this generalisation. I'm not saying he was wrong but.......

    I have siblings who are in the arts. One is a successful painter and sculptor and the other is a successful actor. Both would admit that they too are fond of giving it large when referring to the abilities and artistic talent of someone they admire.

    I am not going to argue the toss about Callas's not inconsiderable talents and achievements. Her place in the pantheon is secure and my comment, which was not about what was said but rather the manner in which it was said, was not intended as a slur on Ms Callas, and its impact on her legions of fans should be of no consequence. Mea culpa, I forgot how sensitive they can be.

    Sadly, while I have great admiration for her, the voice does not sit well with me and all the passion and interpretative qualities in the world will not alter that fact.
    Now THAT is truly patronizing.

    I can assure you that your inability to get past the sound of Callas's voice to a deep appreciation of her art is perfectly normal and I'm not in the least sensitive about it. Our perception of any artist's work is inevitably affected by our subjective tastes. Sometimes, when people who do fully appreciate and enjoy the work of an artist whom we have some kind of block against, it's best to take their word for the fact that there's more to the artist than we can grasp. This is especially true when the artist has been as highly acclaimed as Callas has by many of the most distinguished people in music for over half a century. Implying that all these people are "prone to exaggeration" and overly "sensitive" is more than a little insulting, don't you think?
    Last edited by Woodduck; Dec-02-2018 at 22:31.

  4. #78
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    Has Chaliapin been mentioned? I obviously never saw him on stage, but his reputation as an actor is legendary.
    Michael Scott, author of Volumes I and II of The Record of Singing, The Great Caruso and Maria Meneghini Callas names Chaliapin as one of the three greatest singers of the twentieth century, the others being Caruso and Callas.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  6. #79
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    some which come to mind immediately
    - Maria Ewing!
    - Samuel Ramey
    - Diana Damrau
    - Peter Mattei
    - Elena Obraztsova
    - Jennifer Larmore
    - Franco Corelli
    - Shirley Verrett
    - Teresa Bergenza
    - Mary Costa

    hit-and-miss
    - Mario del Monaco: great when he's not throwing a tantrum on stage
    - Anna Netrebko: can't stand most of her singing, but she does have stage presence. in the right role she can be quite convincing
    - Natalie Dessay: great at playing insane women lol
    - Joyce Didonato: great at moderately dramatic acting, but wouldn't convince me in darker repertoire
    Last edited by BalalaikaBoy; Dec-03-2018 at 07:33.

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  8. #80
    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Some who really impressed me with acting as well as singing:

    - Artur Ruciński (especially as Francesco, but also Onegin)
    - Ferruccio Furlanetto (someone please give his King Philip a hug)
    - René Pape (same, but also Boris)
    - Elina Garanca
    - Scott Hendricks
    - Gerald Finley (just now, as Iago)
    - Eric Halfvarson (probably the creepiest Claggart, definitely the creepiest Inquisitor)
    - Christian Franz (one of the few Siegfrieds I don't want to yeet into a volcano, also excellent Loge and Parsifal)
    - Anita Rachvelishvili (holy ****, her Azucena? give her an Oscar)
    - Christopher Maltman as Don G
    - Ludovic Tézier (especially in Forza and Rigoletto)

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  10. #81
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    - Joyce Didonato: great at moderately dramatic acting, but wouldn't convince me in darker repertoire
    She was tremendous as a gradually disintigrating Dejanira in Luc Bondy's Hercules, the path from suspicion to crazed jealousy brilliantly conveyed both in movement and voice. I'd say she was a convincing actress.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  12. #82
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    Great acting!


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  14. #83
    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sieglinde View Post
    Some who really impressed me with acting as well as singing:

    - Artur Ruciński (especially as Francesco, but also Onegin)
    - Ferruccio Furlanetto (someone please give his King Philip a hug)
    - René Pape (same, but also Boris)
    - Elina Garanca
    - Scott Hendricks
    - Gerald Finley (just now, as Iago)
    - Eric Halfvarson (probably the creepiest Claggart, definitely the creepiest Inquisitor)
    - Christian Franz (one of the few Siegfrieds I don't want to yeet into a volcano, also excellent Loge and Parsifal)
    - Anita Rachvelishvili (holy ****, her Azucena? give her an Oscar)
    - Christopher Maltman as Don G
    - Ludovic Tézier (especially in Forza and Rigoletto)
    Yes, Rachvelishvili as Amneris, boy the other singers were, well, they ranged from marginal (Her Nebs) to horrible (Antonenko) except for Quinn Kelsey in what is a cameo role compared to most Verdi baritone parts.

    Kind regards,

    George

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    Senior Member Barelytenor's Avatar
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    ^ Ah, you said Azucena, yay, see I have something to look forward to!

    George

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    Senior Member Don Fatale's Avatar
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    Am I really the first to mention Ermonela Jaho? As well as an emotive voice she has very affecting body language... and seems to be the singer most likely to make the audience cry.
    Last edited by Don Fatale; Dec-09-2018 at 01:01.

  17. #86
    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    Yeah Watched the 2017 ROH Trovatore (chose it over the 2016 because Bilyy>>>Lucic and I'm pretty much just here for Conte di Luna at this point, after dozens of productions) and she was amazing.

  18. #87
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Now THAT is truly patronizing.

    I can assure you that your inability to get past the sound of Callas's voice to a deep appreciation of her art is perfectly normal and I'm not in the least sensitive about it. Our perception of any artist's work is inevitably affected by our subjective tastes. Sometimes, when people who do fully appreciate and enjoy the work of an artist whom we have some kind of block against, it's best to take their word for the fact that there's more to the artist than we can grasp. This is especially true when the artist has been as highly acclaimed as Callas has by many of the most distinguished people in music for over half a century. Implying that all these people are "prone to exaggeration" and overly "sensitive" is more than a little insulting, don't you think?
    What exactly do you mean by my "inability". Taste is not an ability that can can be mastered by any individual, my taste in singing doesn't make me any less appreciative of singing than those with a so-called "superior" taste when it comes to someone like Maria Callas. And the day I take anyone's word for something will be a first, I can assure you. This "we all know better than you, so just take our word for it" attitude is deeply offensive to me and I do find it both condescending and patronising and if I could find my thesaurus I'd be adding a few more words here.

    Btw I did not imply that all these people are prone to exaggeration. I actually said that those in the arts tend to be prone to exaggeration. Yes, a sweeping generalisation, I admit but I have spent a lot of time in the company of those involved in all the arts and their artistic nature makes some of them, not all, a bit ott when they get enthused.

    In my original post I was not having a pop at Maria Callas. I was merely surprised at the phraseology you used at the end of your post as it is not your usual way of posting. You are not usually judgemental and neither are you given to sweeping statements. In this I was clearly wrong!

    Other than that, all of you have a cool Yule and a Callas-tastic new year.
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Dec-09-2018 at 17:19.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

  19. #88
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    What exactly do you mean by my "inability". Taste is not an ability that can can be mastered by any individual, my taste in singing doesn't make me any less appreciative of singing than those with a so-called "superior" taste when it comes to someone like Maria Callas. And the day I take anyone's word for something will be a first, I can assure you. This "we all know better than you, so just take our word for it" attitude is deeply offensive to me and I do find it both condescending and patronising and if I could find my thesaurus I'd be adding a few more words here.

    Btw I did not imply that all these people are prone to exaggeration. I actually said that those in the arts tend to be prone to exaggeration. Yes, a sweeping generalisation, I admit but I have spent a lot of time in the company of those involved in all the arts and their artistic nature makes some of them, not all, a bit ott when they get enthused.

    In my original post I was not having a pop at Maria Callas. I was merely surprised at the phraseology you used at the end of your post as it is not your usual way of posting. You are not usually judgemental and neither are you given to sweeping statements. In this I was clearly wrong!

    Other than that, all of you have a cool Yule and a Callas-tastic new year.
    I'm sure that there is a certain amount of misunderstanding going on here, and that neither you nor Woodduck wanted to cause any offence.

    However, as a professional performer, and someone who has been in the business for over forty years now, I do rather resent this attitude that all we theatrical types are prone to exaggeration and going a bit over the top, and that therefore our opinions should be taken with a pinch of salt. I should just say that, if it does seem to non performers that we are going a bit over the top, it's because we know just how difficult it all is!
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Dec-09-2018 at 19:01.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  21. #89
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I'm sure that there is a certain amount of misunderstanding going on here, and that neither you nor Woodduck wanted to cause any offence.

    However, as a professional performer, and someone who has been in the business for over forty years now, I do rather resent this attitude that all we theatrical types are prone to exaggeration and going a bit over the top, and that therefore our opinions should be taken with a pinch of salt. I should just say that, if it does seem to non performers that we are going a bit over the top, it's because we know just how difficult it all is!
    When people are determined to be offended it's very difficult to talk them out of it. All we can do is try to clarify our meaning.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Dec-09-2018 at 20:09.

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  23. #90
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I'm sure that there is a certain amount of misunderstanding going on here, and that neither you nor Woodduck wanted to cause any offence.

    However, as a professional performer, and someone who has been in the business for over forty years now, I do rather resent this attitude that all we theatrical types are prone to exaggeration and going a bit over the top, and that therefore our opinions should be taken with a pinch of salt. I should just say that, if it does seem to non performers that we are going a bit over the top, it's because we know just how difficult it all is!
    I did say some, not all. And I do realise that artists, being creative types, are quite rightly given to emphasising the difficulties they have in letting the layman understand the quixotic nature of their art. My siblings have pointed this out to me with some force over the past forty years. I once had the temerity to suggest that my sister wasn't as good as I had seen her in a particular part and her response was less than complimentary. I now keep those opinions to myself.

    I had no intention of giving offence to anyone and in future if I see something that irritates me personally I shall keep it to myself.
    Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate!

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