• Ponselle and Puccini


    Rosa Ponselle with Giacomo Puccini

    Incredibly enough, having a voice that seemed chiseled to sing some of the Puccini heroines, Ponselle never performed in a staging of any opera by the Toscan composer.

    In part, this was due to the MET's politics of leaving this repertoire for other singers, like Maria Jeritza.

    During the summer of 1924, Ponselle toured Europe with several friends. One of them was Felice Romani, a good friend also of Puccini, and they were together to visit the great composer's home at Viareggio. Puccini was very sick, and not in the mood to receive any visit, but given Romani's insistence and his desire to listen to Ponselle singing, he made an exception. The american soprano performed for maestro Puccini, that after hearing her, declared: "What a pity that I never heard this voice before!...".

    Romani took the above picture of Ponselle with Puccini. A few months later, the composer died and her wife wrote to Romani asking for a copy of the picture, because it was the last with her husband still alive.

    That she never really portrayed on stage Floria Tosca is surely the reason why this marvelously sung "Vissi d'arte", with a superb legato and a sumptuous tone, falls somehow short of giving us an accurate portrait of Puccini's heroine. However, it's such a pleasure just listening to this voice:



    In this and other arias we can find one of the few flaws in Ponselle's singing. The 'R's are too raddoppiate, this diction is a little bit tiring for the listener.

    "Un bel dì vedremo" is better understood by a young Ponselle. It's very pure, very clear, almost a sublimation of Cio Cio San's passion. A great rendition:



    Manon Lescaut was another character Ponselle will have been able to give a wonderful on stage performance in her early years. Her voice just seems to be floating on air:



    And of course, Mimi, perhaps the least satisfying of the Puccini roles sung by Ponselle. This "Mi chiamano Mimi" is nice, of course, but is missing the target for a few inches.




    All in all, we have proof enough to say that Ponselle, one of the best Verdian sopranos ever, will also had been of the best singing Puccini, too


free html visitor counters
hit counter




Official Media Partners of Opera Carolina

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Opera Carolina

Official Media Partners of NC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of North Carolina Opera

Official Media Partners of Greensboro Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Greensboro Opera

Official Media Partners of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and Piedmont Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute
of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Piedmont Opera

Official Media Partners of Asheville Lyric Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of Asheville Lyric Opera

Official Media Partners of UNC Opera

Opera Lively is the Official Media Partner of UNC Opera
Dept. of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences

www.operalively.com

VISIT WWW.OPERALIVELY.COM FOR ALL YOUR OPERA NEEDS