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sexta-feira, outubro 12, 2007


The Short Happy Life of Elena Suliotis
JAMES C. WHITSON remembers the soprano who skyrocketed through the opera world in the 1960s.

Few singers possess a genuine stage presence — that magnetic quality that keeps one's eyes glued to them — and fewer still command that kind of attention on record. Only one, in my experience, has walked straight through the speakers and right into my living room. She looked innocent enough — the first band on Side 2 of Decca's greatest hits collection, The Royal Family of Opera. But Elena Suliotis, in the guise of Abigaille, bent both Nabucco and me to her will in one of the most electrifying portrayals ever committed to disc.

That excerpt, from the 1965 recording with Tito Gobbi ( "Salgo già del trono aurato" from Nabucco, as heard on the 1965 Decca recording [Decca 417 407-2]), was her studio debut, and it turned out to be the apex of her short recording career. Within ten years of her professional debut, Suliotis's voice was in ruins. Her career is frequently described as "meteoric," a term both flattering and pejorative. Her discography mirrors that dichotomy — volcanic temperament and coruscating focus in a live Gioconda from Buenos Aires, and in the studio Norma, graceless phrasing and clumsy passagework in turn. Read More Here

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