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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cerquetti and Tatum were suggested contestants. I was going to include Farrell, who has a great version, but she is in many contests lately. On Gadski, click on the Youtube link.
 

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I wouldn't have expected Cerquetti to record this, but then I know little about her except that she made only a few recordings before cutting her career short. It was certainly a full, brilliant, spinto-size voice in the great Italian tradition, and she's quite impressive in this. I find Gadski a little hard to judge, due mainly to the recording. Hers was certainly a superb instrument, but she sounds just perceptibly flat a good bit of the time. The recording itself plays slightly sharp. Tatum I wasn't familiar with at all (though I'd heard of her), and all in all she generates the most excitement. She does a few odd things with the English language, reminding us that its sounds - particularly the "schwa," whether British or American - don't translate unambiguously into sung tones as Italian and German do. But ultimately I found her quite exhilarating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is two rounds enough of this aria?I have other people with suggested contestants so I could do a third round if there is interest. I have never had so many suggestions for an aria.
 

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I got really excited when I heard the Gadski version - at least for the propulsive way she sings the high notes. I don’t hear (perhaps fortunately) the flatting Woodduck suggests. She must’ve been very exciting on stage (she was very popular at the Metropolitan Opera in the early days)

I eliminated Cerquetti because she immediately softens her tone in the opening “Mare!” and makes little of the words, and she is cautious in the approach to some of her acuti. Not what I want in this aria. No trill, of course. She improves toward the end, but she’s uneven. What a voice, though!

Tatum was, to me, almost perfect in this - she pours out the first “Ocean!” like I expected and sounds like she’s throwing caution to the winds in the high notes and sounds almost unbridled in the final cries. Her diction is good, but English intelligibility is problematic in opera. But I can still hear the ring in her high notes.
 

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Three more superb voices, though Cerquetti was the first to be eliminated. She just didn't connect with me. Nor did she make any attempt at a trill.
Gadski was much more exciting, though I did notice the slight flattening that Woodduck pointed out. Nevertheless I felt sure I'd be voting for her - until I heard Tatum!
So who is she? She doesn't even warrant an entry in Wikipedia. Apparently she appeared once at La Scala as Senta and once at the Met as Turandot, though she did sing more regularly with New York City Opera. Apparently she sang Adalgisa to Souliotis's Norma at Carnegie Hall in 1967, on which occasion both singers were roundly booed. This aria is from her only recital disc, which was recorded in 1965. She fulfils pretty much all the demands of this aria, both vocal and dramatic and I had no problem offering her the palm.
 

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I've known about Anita Cerquetti occasionally, from a necrolog in Spanish Wikipedia. Long life, beautiful voice, but extremely short carrier. I've listened all I've found in the Internet. She's an object of my irrational love.
Two other names are new to me. I'm glad again that I read this forum. It was hard to make choice, it was emotional, not rational.
It was sad to know that someone was booed, especially the one who could sing like this.
 

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Is two rounds enough of this aria?I have other people with suggested contestants so I could do a third round if there is interest. I have never had so many suggestions for an aria.
I have to say it's not a particular favourite of mine - and it's quite long. Three different versions take around half an hour to listen to.
 

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I have to say it's not a particular favourite of mine - and it's quite long. Three different versions take around half an hour to listen to.
It is a particular favorite of mine, mostly because my favorite version is by Callas, live, in 1962. I was chuffed to find that other singers, while not as “right” as Callas’s version, sing with similar passion.
 

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What length aria is a good length for a three contest aria in your opinion? I try to take such things into consideration. Thanks for your feedback.
Maybe 5 or 6 minutes, but that rather restricts you to Puccini and verismo. Most nineteenth centruy arias tend to be longer. Of course, if it's an aria I like then I don't mind it being longer, so I'm being purely subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Maybe 5 or 6 minutes, but that rather restricts you to Puccini and verismo. Most nineteenth centruy arias tend to be longer. Of course, if it's an aria I like then I don't mind it being longer, so I'm being purely subjective.
I can easily do just two arias for arias over 7 min. in length in the future.. You are a major voter and your opinion is important to me. I've done that for arias close to 10 min in the past and there are a few of those. The exception will be in final votes from three contests but most of you remember what you think from the first listen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
no. Joan Sutherland rules this aria.
I love her version as well but I refuse to enter for competition Sutherland after the Art of the Prima Donna as people on this forum hate later Sutherland. She did this in 62 two years after The Art and people don't like her new placement of her voice and the decline in her pronunciation that occurred shortly after 1960. It is not just one member either. Only early Sutherland gets fair consideration here. I've lived and learned.
 

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I love her version as well but I refuse to enter for competition Sutherland after the Art of the Prima Donna as people on this forum hate later Sutherland. She did this in 62 two years after The Art and people don't like her new placement of her voice and the decline in her pronunciation that occurred shortly after 1960. It is not just one member either. Only early Sutherland gets fair consideration here. I've lived and learned.
I understand where you're coming from here, but....trust me. You, and everyone else, will not be disappointed.
 
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