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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Radvanovsky and Goerke are the only two sopranos today I would get excited to hear. I did hear Goerke as Norma years ago but before her voice really got big. Her high D in the trio was jaw dropping, though. You would have to pay ME to hear Netrebko today, although she was delight 25 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think Gelb always preferred more glamorous sounds & looks than Radvanovsky could provide, despite her successes. The Netrebkos, Flemings, Yonchevas and the like.
I am admittedly a homosexual but I think Sondra is very tall and grand looking onstage. Caballe and Traubel would never have stood a chance with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Sondra Radvanovsky just made a stupendous hit last evening at the Met Opener with her "Medea". There was whispered talk of positive similarities to "the-one-who-can't-be-mentioned!"
I don't think many have taken it on due to the benchmark set by Callas. It is a role Sondra could get her teeth in I think. I am happy for her success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Radvanovsky has never been a favourite but I've never hated her either. That said, after seeing some clips of her Medea on YouTube... it's truly horrible. In fairness, it's an exceptionally difficult role and few have sung it well, and only one has sung it masterfully, but Radvanovsky's voice is uncentered and unclear in the middle and practically inaudible at the bottom. How can anyone think to sing Medea without chest voice? Hard pass on this one.
Is this a description of her voice in general or just now in your opinion? I've really enjoyed some of her stuff from past years but I may look for something different than you. Her glory has been her gigantic top voice but this role if I remember is centered a bit lower. Callas had a huge success with this even late in her career when her top notes weren't her glory anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I inherited a pristine LP of Farrell doing it. Callas of course is peerless, but Farrell is on fire, sings with great beauty and is very effective in the role. Her voice is like a volcano at times. It really requires a real dramatic soprano to do the part justice. It is like Norma without the coloratura. There is a lot of beautiful music in it and that "De tuoi figli" ( sp?) that Medea sings early on is so beautifully written- I could listen to it over and over. Farrell handles the low passages well, though I am sure Callas takes them to another level. You must be secure down low for maximum impact in this role I think. It just doesn't appear to be done much at all after Maria sang it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
There's a complete (?) Farrell performance on YT:


Someon says Callas was in attendance. Should be worth a listen.
I have excerpts from a studio recording centering just on Medea. I really love the music. I'll check this out. That was a good year.... I was born that year! Callas was very impressed with Farrell. To hear her on vinyl is a revelation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I've heard her live a couple of times. Firstly, I think the size of the voice is exaggerated since there are so few large voices about nowadays. Yes, it's big, but it's not produced freely enough to rival Flagstad, Tebaldi, Ponselle, Milanov, Sutherland, Callas in their primes in terms of sheer volume. The voice lacks support in quieter music and is only really big at the top of, and above the stave. The middle, mainly the lower middle, and bottom, is fairly opaque and doesn't project half as well. Her vibrato is far from a wobble but it is a little too prominent for my liking. She has an occasional habit of starting notes straight and then adding vibrato which interrupts the musical line and she often shakes her jaw, a sign of unneeded tension. She is musically capable but I also can't imagine her having any remarkable depth of characterisation to make up for any vocal failings. I imagine she has her reputation as many have never, or not for many years, heard a large voice with an attractive, if not exceptionally beautiful timbre. If you're used to Netrebko, Stemme, Voigt etc. I'd urge you to hear her as you'd probably find much to enjoy but if you're someone who prefers Flagstad, Tebaldi, Callas, Muzio etc. I wouldn't say there's much of a chance she'd make the impression you are hoping for.
Great, knowledgeable first hand reporting!!!! Bless you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 · (Edited)
Unfortunately I'm not as lucky as you. I'm too young to have heard any of the singers you mentioned live in a theatre.
A serious question - would you rather hear Christine Georke than Lise Davidsen?
Goerke hands down. I heard her in Norma 20 years ago. Some pitch problems but otherwise pretty wonderful and a HUGE D6- enormous! Almost Sutherland in size, though I never heard her live.
Actually I never heard any of those singers myself except Price late in her career. I know most of my favorite singers from recordings. I envy Mas his extensive history of hearing singers in SF!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice to have some young people who love opera on board!!!!!!!!!!!
Opera is often about nostalgia for the lost past like baseball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Yes, that is a recording after which I started avoiding her. Elvira in I Puritani is an idiotic role, and it would require a very special acting to make that character convincing. Netrebko didn't have this special superpower.

But I remember a previous life, when I was very happy with her as Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. It was a taped stage rehearsal of her with Joyce Didonato in Paris. They both had the perfect looks for their parts and the singing was pleasing. I am not an expert enough to notice any mistakes in singing, if there were any.
Unlike 70 years ago this is a video age and a gorgeous singer like Netrebko, especially when she was young and sang better, was a recipe for success today. She has banked on that reputation since.
 
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