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Thread: Where in the 7 Hells have all the mezzos and contraltos gone?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    I like Bumbry better as a mezzo and Verrett in...pretty much everything she's ever touched.Her Azucena is the only role I have a tiny complaint about (not quite enough witchy nastiness and chest voice), but other than that, she is a freak who is equally glorious from mezzo all the way up to high D.
    Verrett gets lost in the company of Sutherland and Callas, but her Norma was really really wonderful. It would certainly be the finest Norma today by a long shot. Still, I prefer her Arsace or the mezzo role in The Siege of Corinth.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    Verrett gets lost in the company of Sutherland and Callas, but her Norma was really really wonderful. It would certainly be the finest Norma today by a long shot. Still, I prefer her Arsace or the mezzo role in The Siege of Corinth.
    She's my joint favourite Eboli (with Baltsa), Elisabetta (in Maria Stuarda) and Dalila and her Lady Macbeth is second only to Callas. So I do prefer her in mezzo roles. I know Lady Macbeth is really a soprano role but, aside from that Db in the Sleepwalking Scene, the tessitura is quite low. There are a whole host of other roles I like her in, but I'd have to agree that I like her most in mezzo territory.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  5. #33
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    If this lady doesn't knock your socks off, nothing will!
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Sep-19-2019 at 16:55.
    "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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  7. #34
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    Verrett gets lost in the company of Sutherland and Callas, but her Norma was really really wonderful. It would certainly be the finest Norma today by a long shot. Still, I prefer her Arsace or the mezzo role in The Siege of Corinth.



  8. #35
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If this lady doesn't knock your socks off, nothing will!
    I remember being rather taken with Kasarova when her recordings first appeared. She has a distinctive timbre, which is always welcome. Has anyone heard anything about her lately?

  9. #36
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    If this lady doesn't knock your socks off, nothing will!
    she can be a bit forced, pinched and/or artificially dark in a few places, but overall...solid 8/10 voice.

  10. #37
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    solid 8/10 voice.
    You are SO precise!
    Last edited by Woodduck; Sep-22-2019 at 03:08.

  11. #38
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    she can be a bit forced, pinched and/or artificially dark in a few places, but overall...solid 8/10 voice.
    Well, here is an interesting comparison.
    "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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  13. #39
    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I remember being rather taken with Kasarova when her recordings first appeared. She has a distinctive timbre, which is always welcome. Has anyone heard anything about her lately?
    Here she is in 2016 or about 50-years of age (queued to sample her singing).
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

  14. #40
    Senior Member BalalaikaBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Well, here is an interesting comparison.
    yeah, his thoughts were pretty much 90% of what mine were before watching it. only difference is I thought he was a bit harsh on a singer who is far better than any mezzo around today.

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  16. #41
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    There is one mezzo I don't think anyone mentioned: Stephanie Blythe. I don't know what she sounds like now, but 15 years ago in Seattle she had one of the greatest voices I ever heard live. It was very, very beautiful, seamless, the biggest voice I ever heard, and a good actress. Yes, she was big as a house, but she had a very beautiful face. Some didn't like her in Carmen because of her appearance, but her Amneris was unbelievable. Speight Jenkins, a great judge of voices, said she was the best Amneris since Simeonato. She was recorded in Handel arias and did them well, but it is a real shame she was never recorded in Amneris. In her final scene I thought her voice was going to bring the sets tumbling down. She wanted to sing Sieglinde and I'm sure she could have done a beautiful job, but Speight Jenkins persuaded her that her voice was too mature sounding for the part.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Sep-22-2019 at 05:15.

  17. #42
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    One more artist: Olga Boradina. I heard her in La Gioconda at The Met and I was really blown away with how wonderful she was. She looked great onstage, her voice was big and beautiful and I thought she deserved the honor of performing at The Met. I also heard her in The Italian in Algiers on the radio and she was able to scale back her big voice to sing coloratura very well. I must have heard her over 10 years ago so I don't know what she sounds like now.

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  19. #43
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    I decided to delete this entry as the artist was already discussed.
    Last edited by Seattleoperafan; Sep-22-2019 at 08:49.

  20. #44
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    Well, here is an interesting comparison.
    This really is terrific, the voice perfectly even from top to bottom. She had a long career (she might even still be singing) but later gaps opened up between her head and chest voice, which she was maybe tempted to exploit too much when she took on bigger roles like Eboli and Amneris. But she was a thrilling performer. I saw her as Adalgisa, Dorabella, Isabella, Carmen and Eboli and also heard her in the Verdi Requiem and the voice was pretty large too.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  22. #45
    Member Jermaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalalaikaBoy View Post
    the only real one I can think of at the moment is Podles. other than that
    Joyce Didonato: soprano
    Elena Garanca: soprano
    Cecilia Bartoli: soprano
    Vivica Genaux: soprano

    It's not even that I dislike all these singers. Cecilia Bartoli is the only one I have a significantly negative opinion on, but...they're just not mezzos. Perhaps they started to disappear when we began to become afraid of chest voice (particularly female chest voice)?
    I know you dislike Bartoli, you never miss an opportunity to mention it, but I do think she's more a mezzo than a soprano.



    I mean you must be insane if you listen to this and think she's a soprano, but then there are other arias in which you'd expect her to sound like a truck's engine on throttle, but the weight of the voice is just as bright as any other coloratura soprano,



    So it's not easy to classify, but I would not venture to say she IS definitely a soprano since the timbre of her voice is more mezzo-like.
    Last edited by Jermaine; Sep-29-2019 at 01:42.

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