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But choice is difficult. None of these Annas is anywhere near in the Callas class. Sutherland is caught too late, Gruberova and Sills too light of voice, and Suliotis just hasn't the technique, though she does have some of the necessary grandeur. There are other good things about the Suliotis recording though. It's absolutely complete, has an excellent Giovanna in Horne and probably the best Enrico in Ghiaurov. Alexander isn't bad and Varviso conducts well. it's probably the one I'd go for, despite Suliotis's vagaries.

On the other hand I don't know the Theodossiou. I'm assuming that's live, like the Callas recording.
 

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If you already have Callas recording, now it's time to get Sills. I recommend this one:

View attachment 65842
Sills always sounded too light and soubrettish in these roles for me. I like her as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and in Manon, but, to my mind the Donizetti Queens require a grander voice. For all her undoubted intelligence, she doesn't quite do it for me.
 

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Sills always sounded too light and soubrettish in these roles for me. I like her as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi and in Manon, but, to my mind the Donizetti Queens require a grander voice. For all her undoubted intelligence, she doesn't quite do it for me.
Completely agree. Her voice was like a too bright flash light hurting my eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whelp, I did it. I went and got the Theodossiou one, but.... That does not mean I can't go binge on this opera, but I have spent about $200 on music this year already and my sort-of New Year's resolution was to spend less than last year. Well at this rate I'll blow that by the end of the month.

I knew there was a used copy of the Theodossiou set at Dearborn Music so I swung by on my way to the grocery store (about 14 miles out of the way, ha ha) and when i found it was only $14.99 for a used copy in excellent condition, I could not resist. I will say that the sound is very good, well balanced between the soloists, choral parts and music. I really like Theodossiou and first heard her in the DVD of this same opera that I recently watched (different singers than the CD set). The Theodossiou set is a live performance from about 2000 and is complete on three discs.

Here she is in a You Tube clip from the DVD.
 

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Whelp, I did it. I went and got the Theodossiou one, but.... That does not mean I can't go binge on this opera, but I have spent about $200 on music this year already and my sort-of New Year's resolution was to spend less than last year. Well at this rate I'll blow that by the end of the month.

I knew there was a used copy of the Theodossiou set at Dearborn Music so I swung by on my way to the grocery store (about 14 miles out of the way, ha ha) and when i found it was only $14.99 for a used copy in excellent condition, I could not resist. I will say that the sound is very good, well balanced between the soloists, choral parts and music. I really like Theodossiou and first heard her in the DVD of this same opera that I recently watched (different singers than the CD set). The Theodossiou set is a live performance from about 2000 and is complete on three discs.

Here she is in a You Tube clip from the DVD.
I watched the Theodossiou clip. It's a bit of a scream and the fast scale passages are a bit sketchy to say the least.

One gripe with the staging, and Theodossiou is not the only one guilty of this, why do so many singers, presumably backed up by their producers, feel the need to scrabble around in the dirt? She was a queen, and even in desperate circumstances, particularly with the court around her, would behave like one. We don't have video evidence of Callas's performances, but in her voice one not only hears outrage, but the outrage of a queen. Such a small point, but an important one.
 

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I watched the Theodossiou clip. It's a bit of a scream and the fast scale passages are a bit sketchy to say the least.

One gripe with the staging, and Theodossiou is not the only one guilty of this, why do so many singers, presumably backed up by their producers, feel the need to scrabble around in the dirt? She was a queen, and even in desperate circumstances, particularly with the court around her, would behave like one. We don't have video evidence of Callas's performances, but in her voice one not only hears outrage, but the outrage of a queen. Such a small point, but an important one.
"You're a Queen- you should act like one."

Absolutely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I watched the Theodossiou clip. It's a bit of a scream and the fast scale passages are a bit sketchy to say the least.

One gripe with the staging, and Theodossiou is not the only one guilty of this, why do so many singers, presumably backed up by their producers, feel the need to scrabble around in the dirt? She was a queen, and even in desperate circumstances, particularly with the court around her, would behave like one. We don't have video evidence of Callas's performances, but in her voice one not only hears outrage, but the outrage of a queen. Such a small point, but an important one.
The recording I think is better than the DVD. As one reviewer on Amazon noted,
Her vocal state has deteriorated since her audio-only commercial release of Anna.
It appears there are about 7 years between the two. Anyway, I like it, but am still going to check out some other recordings. I have Callas so there is not much value for me to look at other older recordings, but prefer something newer with higher sound quality, and the Theodossiou recording does give very good sound quality. Here are some clips for the sound recording.
 

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The recording I think is better than the DVD. As one reviewer on Amazon noted,

It appears there are about 7 years between the two. Anyway, I like it, but am still going to check out some other recordings. I have Callas so there is not much value for me to look at other older recordings, but prefer something newer with higher sound quality, and the Theodossiou recording does give very good sound quality. Here are some clips for the sound recording.
Yes, these clips do sound a lot better.

The sound quality on the Suliotis recording is pretty spectacular Decca analogue sound, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, these clips do sound a lot better.

The sound quality on the Suliotis recording is pretty spectacular Decca analogue sound, by the way.
I'll check the Suliotis recording out. As far as DVDs go, the Anna Netrebko / Elīna Garanča performance is probably much better. I may watch on You Tube.

There is something strange about the story though. I found it odd when towards the end of the opera it comes out that Anna was married to Percy before she became queen. It seems that Henry was not aware of that.
 

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I'll check the Suliotis recording out. As far as DVDs go, the Anna Netrebko / Elīna Garanča performance is probably much better. I may watch on You Tube.

There is something strange about the story though. I found it odd when towards the end of the opera it comes out that Anna was married to Percy before she became queen. It seems that Henry was not aware of that.
Betrothed, not married, which in those days was more like our engaged. If they had been married, they would have had to get a divorce. Incidentally, the story as told in the opera is not historically accurate, though Anna Bolenais a little closer to history than some of the others. Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I never met, for instance.

I've seen some of the Netrebko, by the way. She never convinces me in bel canto opera, and she too indulges in too much unseemly grovelling on the floor. Her characterisation is altogether too modern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Betrothed, not married, which in those days was more like our engaged. If they had been married, they would have had to get a divorce. Incidentally, the story as told in the opera is not historically accurate, though Anna Bolenais a little closer to history than some of the others. Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I never met, for instance.

I've seen some of the Netrebko, by the way. She never convinces me in bel canto opera, and she too indulges in too much unseemly grovelling on the floor. Her characterisation is altogether too modern.
In the Biblical sense and the conservative part of Lutheranism would consider engagement (betrothal) as tantamount to marriage. I even recall reading a translation of Martin Luther where he said that if an engaged couple had sex, it would not be fornication, though improper because the state requirement had not been completed. So when the Anna Bolena opera indicates they were married, it is a broken engagement, which makes a lot more sense for the story.

Well, I wonder if there is a good DVD of Anna Bolena (Sutherland just looks too aged for the part IMO). I wonder if there are any Mariella Devia DVDs of this opera, perhaps at PremiereOpera? Seems like Mariella would make a good queen.
 

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Betrothed, not married, which in those days was more like our engaged. If they had been married, they would have had to get a divorce. Incidentally, the story as told in the opera is not historically accurate, though Anna Bolenais a little closer to history than some of the others. Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I never met, for instance.

I've seen some of the Netrebko, by the way. She never convinces me in bel canto opera, and she too indulges in too much unseemly grovelling on the floor. Her characterisation is altogether too modern.
I am super allergic to that Russian woman. I think the Met should stop touting her as a competent bel canto singer, let alone something stupid like "prima donna assoluta". Let's face it: her technique is flawed (a video bashing her showing her disastrous attempts the E-flat twice:
), her singing is dull, and her diction kinda sucks. She is saved partly by her look (which is not attractive anymore) and the acting (but sometimes it becomes too ridiculous, as you said grovelling on the floor).

She is dull even in the Russian repertoire. I find her Tchaikovsky's roles and Russian songs totally uninspiring, unlike her compatriot Vishnevskaya. Then she plagues and massacres the operatic world of Mozart, Verdi, Bellini and even Wagner and Strauss with that same dullness.

Return to the topic, I would pick the one by Souliotis as an alternative.
 

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Besides the EMI releases for Callas, Divina label has a more deluxe CD or download release using BJR (BJ records) master tapes donated to owner of Divina and best of all includes a huge pdf media file with rare photos (355 total in 479 page book) from that performance, the beautiful color photo on CD cover is from the included collection

http://www.divinarecords.com/dvn018/dvn018.html

 
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