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I have always felt the same way — I've never understood why Gelb seemed to love Netrebko so much more than Sondra when Sondra is far better. I am baffled by the fact that Netrebko is (or at least was) so much more popular. Now that Netrebko is persona non grata at the Met, I hope Gelb will realize Sondra's value. Only now is he beginning to understand how grievous an error he made in not recognizing Sondra for the amazing artist that she is earlier.
Sex appeal.

What else?
 

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From the Met's web site: "The opera is set in the Greek city of Corinth, a wealthy and sophisticated locale already ancient by the time of the events in the opera. Medea herself is a foreigner from Colchis, a land thought by Greeks to be wealthy but primitive and which was associated with overly empowered women."

That last sentence cracked me up. Does anyone have any relevant knowledge or insights? Who were those women? It reminds me of my conservative brother talking about Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi.
 

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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.
Uh oh.... I guess I need to check this out. :oops:

(20 minutes later)
Done. You're right about the condition of the voice. "Uncentered and unclear" decribes it well. Line and expression suffer. I might say "mediocre and disappointing" rather than "truly horrible," but in this role the difference is probably academic. She's musically intelligent, and so we can hear the unrealized intention. Too bad. She's aging.

I wonder why the Met chose Matthew Polenzani for Giasone. He's a good Mozart tenor, but sounds wimpy in this opera.
Well, I hope the staging is effective.
 

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While I still think she sounds good as Medea, I do agree that there are several noticeable problems.

We also have to remember that this isn't exactly her strong suit. Give her Aida, Leonora, Amelia, Tosca, Elvira, Norma, the Three Queens, etc. and she is amazing. I saw her in Tosca at the Met in December, and she was divine. She has a precedent of incredible performances and absolutely superb singing. I've seen some people say that recordings don't capture her voice well. I've only seen her once, so I can't say that with certainty, but I believe it. She probably sounded at least slightly better than this in person.

Also, like you said, she's aging. She's 53. There have been few sopranos who still sound amazing at that age. Even Callas (famously) didn't. When I think of sopranos who sounded truly exquisite at that age, only two come to mind: Leontyne Price and Joan Sutherland.
Well, I do wish her the best. Somebody needs to be able to manage Verdi and Donizetti tolerably well while we're waiting for the next Golden Age. :(
 

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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.
There's a complete (?) Farrell performance on YT:


Someon says Callas was in attendance. Should be worth a listen.
 

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The jury's still out for me. I don't like her recording of Strauss's Vier letzte Lieder at all, and I wasn't that impressed with the Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi album either.
Me too, so far. We've come to the point where a large, clear, steady soprano voice used without strain or wobble is celebrated. It's sad that she has to be burdened with the fond hopes of so many greatness-deprived listeners, but in the present drought, I wish her all the best while hoping for little.
 
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