Sunday, May 08, 2005

The education of Dr. B

Or famous sopranos I've never heard. We did Waltraud Meier yesterday. Today is....
Magda Olivero was shown on ARTS singing the big aria from La Traviata. I am most surprised by how cleanly she sings it. There's one big glissando where you absolutely must have one--it may even be composed for all I know--but that's about it. Who would think an Italian soprano would give such a singing school performance? It's beautiful, yes, and "Sempre libera" could hardly fail to make an effect, but where is the schmaltz we expect from the "last verismo" singer, as she is billed here? La Traviata is not verismo. It does make one curious. 
Edita Gruberova appeared performing Adele's laughing song from Die Fledermaus. The point here is that class is in the eye of the beholder. Edita's Adele has the right outfit, but hasn't quite left the farm.

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