Friday, January 11, 2008


I realized suddenly that I know nothing about Edita Gruberova. I may have had her confused with Guleghina who is singing in Macbeth tomorrow.

So now I have two DVD's of Roberto Devereux, one with Gruberova and one with Caballe. I'm going to an opera party with my friends soon and I'm going to take both of them along. Gruberova sort of blasts her way through with huge patches of notes hardly noticed and certainly not articulated. Caballe is better on style, and Caballe's DVD comes with a very young Jose Carreras as Elizabeth's boy toy. Notice how many more notes there are in the Caballe rendition, and how much more graceful phrasing.

So I am ready to dismiss Gruberova when I play her Donna Anna on YouTube. It turns out to be excellent. What is it about Mozart that inspires people to do their best?

Gruberova's "Casta Diva" on YouTube shows a style of scooping that is a little out there. I don't think I'll acquire a taste for it.

So what is one to make of an artist that is so all over the map?

I used to confuse Regine Crespin, Leonie Rysanek and Regina Resnik, thinking they were only two singers. I've probably told this story before--one of the annoyances of advancing age. One acquires a taste for strangers--one can be sure they haven't already heard ones stories.

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