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I've seen her live three times. The first was about ten years ago, it was a charming recital by various singers dedicated to one concertmaster's jubilee. She was among other singers, to the date excessively famous, beloved by TV, already jumping off her heels but before dramatic soprano experiment. She sounded well, showed necessary collaboration with colleagues and was on the top of her Carmen-styled beauty. She sang some romances and a duet from L'elisir.
The second time was Giovanna D'Arco in La Scala, when I had a vacation in Italy. Then she was still alike herself vocally. I have a little to compare in this opera. She isn't Montserrat, of course, but was good enough. And her stage presence means much, she has a certain gift to inspire the audience.
After that the repertoire extension began. I never considered her as an artist to go, her rare shows in Mariinsky were extremely expensive. Third time was accidental. I had tickets for Don Carlo with Tatiana Serjan as Elisabetta, but the cast was changed a couple weeks before the evening. Semenchuk as Eboli and Markov as Posa remained, Abdrazakov as Felipe joined, Netrebko changed Serjan and closed a tenor gap with her Mr. It wasn't a fair change. I wouldn't mind the former three. But the rest... I wouldn't say it were pretty awful, but why does she need to treat her voice like that, I hope she understands herself.
I have watched her video of I Puritani from MET. That opera is just idiotic as the story. I dimly recollect seeing Gruberova in it and found the character of Elvira really obnoxious. People praise the stage presence of Netrebko, but her charisma was not enough to overcome the absurdity of Elvira either. I am avoiding her ever since, but my reasons are unjust, I guess.
 

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I have watched her video of I Puritani from MET. That opera is just idiotic as the story. I dimly recollect seeing Gruberova in it and found the character of Elvira really obnoxious. People praise the stage presence of Netrebko, but her charisma was not enough to overcome the absurdity of Elvira either. I am avoiding her ever since, but my reasons are unjust, I guess.
I'm avoiding this video, at least full, because I've watched Sutherland's one immediately after Netrebko's piece. I know that she sagaciously refused Norma. Generally, I wouldn't mind to watch her live again, but in more appropriate repertoire and for reasonable money.
 

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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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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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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.
They might think of queen Tamara, but were wrong for a couple thousand years.
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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.
She's never had a perfect technique but I've heard her sound a great deal better than in those Medea clips. I don't think she's ever had much of a bottom register but that's just the standard these days.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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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