Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 41 of 41

Thread: Do you like Norman jessye ?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MAS View Post
    Seattleoperafan, yes she was enormous then and, as you say, at her peak. She sang Cassandre barefoot, and as she descended a couple of steps, I could see her feet which were not delicate, but strong and powerful. She had great presence and an Amazonian demeanor, and moved majestically, a Trojan princess indeed and a queen to her fingertips. I was very lucky to have been in New York that week and as sorry I was not seeing Troyanos, you can imagine I was very happy to have seen double Jessye!
    She did not move like most large women move. She floated.

  2. Likes MAS liked this post
  3. #32
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I have yet to read a decent singer autobiography.
    I enjoyed Nilsson's but I am a huge fan. Have any of you read Varnay's. It was very interesting. Traubel's was an unusual and remarkable story. Not your typical diva's tale at all. Norman's I got through 2 chapter and FORGET IT!!!!!!
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Sep-16-2019 at 20:42.

  4. #33
    Senior Member NightHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,284
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I highly admire Norman's Libestod in concert with Von Karajan, her Four Last Songs with Masur, her Siegliende with Levine and the Met, and her Cassandra in the Met's 3-act version of Berlioz' Les Troyens. I think her voice is an arresting instrument especially in the upper register, though her Im Abendrot is, for me, untouchable . I agree that her German is very fine and her diction as well. Her Salome with Ozawa seems not much on first listenings, but it has grown in my opinion, though not my favorite by any means. I feel she is definitely a singer who has left her unique, artistic mark internationally - I don't know about top 10, but quite possibly.
    Last edited by NightHawk; Sep-22-2019 at 20:28.

  5. Likes Seattleoperafan, MAS, Tsaraslondon liked this post
  6. #34
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I’m just curious to those who commented that she is only meteocre at best in her performance, who are some singers that are excellent and extraordinary in your opinions? I think her work may have been presented from a different prospective including her literary accomplishments but are still outstanding.

  7. #35
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    3,887
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr70 View Post
    I’m just curious to those who commented that she is only meteocre at best in her performance, who are some singers that are excellent and extraordinary in your opinions? I think her work may have been presented from a different prospective including her literary accomplishments but are still outstanding.
    Do you mean among her contemporaries or overall?

    It depends on the rep. I like her in the Philips Corsaro recording and she was wonderful in Troyens. However, I prefer Caballe in the Corsaro arias and there are a number of people who have sung Cassandre as well as her. Anna Caterina Antonacci and Marie Nicole Lemiux to name just a couple. For Four Last Songs I would look to Schwarzkopf, Janowitz or Studer for superior versions and Schwarzkopf or Janowitz would be my top choice for Ariadne were it an opera I like.

    I think part of the problem is that Norman was a mezzo, but wouldn't admit it and whilst she had a certain amount of talent, she wasn't a great artist.

    N.

  8. #36
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nina foresti View Post
    I'll say this: I enjoy her singing much more than I do her autobiography which I thought was one of the worst books I have ever read on the subject of opera and singing.
    She spoke little of the art and instead plastered her book with anger of bigotry and racism, and religious upbringing and happenings in church.
    Not for me.
    Worst book EVER

  9. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1,960
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr70 View Post
    I’m just curious to those who commented that she is only meteocre at best in her performance, who are some singers that are excellent and extraordinary in your opinions? I think her work may have been presented from a different prospective including her literary accomplishments but are still outstanding.
    You cannot be serious with those last 8 words. That book was nothing but a guise to show her anger (of which I surely do not blame her) for all the bigotry and prejudice against Blacks. She just never came to grips with it and instead of writing a book about herself as an opera singer, she chose to expound on her anger of bigotry and worship of church and her religion instead.

  10. Likes Seattleoperafan liked this post
  11. #38
    Senior Member MAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    1,657
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    Do you mean among her contemporaries or overall?

    It depends on the rep. I like her in the Philips Corsaro recording and she was wonderful in Troyens. However, I prefer Caballe in the Corsaro arias and there are a number of people who have sung Cassandre as well as her. Anna Caterina Antonacci and Marie Nicole Lemiux to name just a couple. For Four Last Songs I would look to Schwarzkopf, Janowitz or Studer for superior versions and Schwarzkopf or Janowitz would be my top choice for Ariadne were it an opera I like.

    I think part of the problem is that Norman was a mezzo, but wouldn't admit it and whilst she had a certain amount of talent, she wasn't a great artist.

    N.
    I was very very lucky indeed to have witnessed her Cassandre and Didon at the Metropolitan Opera when Troyanos canceled. Norman’s Cassandra was imperious, her upper register thrilling, swordlike. The Didon was ravishing, feminine; the voice silky and caressing in the duet with Enee. Later, it’s filled with grief, cavernous in its chest utterances, dark and vibrant, majestic and opulent, even in pianissimi.

    I don’t think she was a mezzo, though I concede it was a difficult voice to categorize, especially since her repertoire was out of the ordinary. From high pianissimi, to sumptuous lower voice, a semingly inexhaustible range, it was suited to a vast range of roles and styles. Jocastain Oedipus Rex? Sure. Sieglinde in Die Walkure? Of course! Cassandre and Didon in Les Troyens? You bet! Erwartung, Bluebeard’s Castle, Dido and Aeneas, Le Nozze di Figaro, Aida, Tannhäuser (as Elisabeth), L’Africaine, a sensational Ariadne auf Naxos, La Voix Humaine, The Makropulos Case were in her repertoire

    Later, the center of the voice shifted, I don’t know when, but she started doing mezzo roles, and more and more Lieder. I always thought her voice more suited to monumental roles, not because of her size, but because of the vocal endowment - goddesses, queens, and the mythic.

  12. Likes Tsaraslondon, fluteman liked this post
  13. #39
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,979
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr70 View Post
    I’m just curious to those who commented that she is only meteocre at best in her performance, who are some singers that are excellent and extraordinary in your opinions? I think her work may have been presented from a different prospective including her literary accomplishments but are still outstanding.
    I'm not sure who those people are who think Jessye Norman was only mediocre. Admittedly she wasn't a particular favourite of mine when she was at the height of her powers (though I've come to appreciate her more with the passing years) but I always thought of her as a major artist. The voice was absolutely gorgeous.My problem with her (and I heard her live quite a few times) was that there was very little specific about her art. She sang, as I pointed out in an earlier post, with a sort of one size fits all emotional generosity, rarely illuminating anything specific in the music.

    Nevertheless she was "excellent and extraordinary" in her own way. I can't comment on her "literary accomplishments" as I haven't read anything, but comments from others haven't encouraged me to.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  14. Likes nina foresti liked this post
  15. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    3,887
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I'm not sure who those people are who think Jessye Norman was only mediocre.

    ...

    My problem with her (and I heard her live quite a few times) was that there was very little specific about her art. She sang, as I pointed out in an earlier post, with a sort of one size fits all emotional generosity, rarely illuminating anything specific in the music.
    I'm the one who thinks she was only mediocre! Your description of her is exactly what I think of as a mediocre artist. (Although I admit I'm being harsh.) She did have a generally gorgeous sound and so perhaps mediocre is too strong a word, but her singing never spoke to me (I also have to admit that I have only heard her on recordings.)

    As to whether she was a mezzo or not, it's not the repertoire someone chooses to sing that makes one a particular voice type, but rather the tone colour (and to a lesser extent the range) of their natural voice. The fact that Norman was such an accomplished Cassandre and Didon signals that she was a mezzo and there is nothing wrong with mezzos singing soprano parts from time to time.

    N.

  16. Likes Seattleoperafan liked this post
  17. #41
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,849
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    I'm the one who thinks she was only mediocre! Your description of her is exactly what I think of as a mediocre artist. (Although I admit I'm being harsh.) She did have a generally gorgeous sound and so perhaps mediocre is too strong a word, but her singing never spoke to me (I also have to admit that I have only heard her on recordings.)

    As to whether she was a mezzo or not, it's not the repertoire someone chooses to sing that makes one a particular voice type, but rather the tone colour (and to a lesser extent the range) of their natural voice. The fact that Norman was such an accomplished Cassandre and Didon signals that she was a mezzo and there is nothing wrong with mezzos singing soprano parts from time to time.

    N.
    Live was a different experience in my opinion. Her voice was very grand in size which recordings can't fully capture and she had a commanding presence onstage that outshone her interpretation. She was very beautiful like a great queen. The three concerts I saw her in were epic. I just wished I had seen her when she was fat and the voice was at it's peak. I think she was a mezzo who was better at navigating the soprano range before she lost weight. In the Four Last Songs she sounded like a mezzo except at the very top of her range. She never sang the two of the Four Last Songs that went up to A and B after she slimmed down.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Oct-30-2020 at 15:47.

  18. Likes The Conte liked this post
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •