Saturday, January 05, 2008

Old and New Leontyne

To blog about opera one must have opinions and state them. Reading old opinions leaves me thinking that I change my mind a lot.

Which is better:

Young Leontyne

or old Leontyne.

The years change her. Her voice is less agile, but her interpretation ripens and takes on depth as she ages. An opinion that feels right in one moment, changes in another.

I wrote in January about making music: The trick is to make the magic with every piece, to find its heart, to reach that perfect intersection of work of art and self, to find the music of your soul.

The old Leontyne Price achieves this here to a level of perfection that may never have been exceeded. It is completely her and completely Verdi all at the same time. Don't ask me how.

It must be mentioned that the second film is Leontyne's farewell to opera. It must be seen for the ovation alone.

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