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Thread: Maria Callas' precise coloratura

          
   
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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Maria Callas' precise coloratura

    This is extraordinary. This video clip shows how spectacularly precise Maria Callas was. For those who read music, you'll see that every single note is where it should be, and she executes the score as written by Verdi with enormous agility and uncanny accuracy. Ah those thrills... And the musicality!

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    By comparison, Diana Damrau needs to take it slowly and her breathing is very strained by this piece that is not a perfect fit for her lighter voice, as opposed to Callas' spinto power. Still, Diana is an accomplished singer and she makes it beautiful, with good acting too.

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Natalie Dessay on the other hand is not as precise, note-wise. See for example her voice stumbling at 3:57. However she does have the agility (or used to have; she was more agile a few years ago; but still more than enough for this), and her timbre of voice is beautiful. I actually find her version better than Diana's in spite of it being less accurate (and she is getting vocally tired towards the end). Or let's say, not better from the technical standpoint, but more beautiful. Not to forget that it is hard to beat her, as an actress. This is from Aix (my favorite opera company):

    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 22nd, 2017 at 07:31 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Now, the only one in this generation who can actually match Callas' accuracy, power, and agility, is Angela Gheorghiu. See it here, in spite of the fact that this recording is of limited technical quality so the high notes distort, exceeding the capacity of the recording. It's in Verona, a place full of tourists who are not experienced opera lovers, so they break the set of musical numbers by applauding before she launches Sempre Libera, what a pity! The tenor here is much, much worse than the ones in the other clips. But we can still see how Angela's technique is fine. However, she doesn't do the high E flat at the end.

    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 22nd, 2017 at 05:44 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Talking about high notes, listen to how high Natalie can go, at 25:07 of this clip, with a G sharp 6:

    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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