Saturday, March 15, 2008

More on Steber

On March 15th, mrmyster posted""The first of November, 1962, I attended the season primaof Don Giovanni at the old Met with Maazel conducting.It was the evening Eleanor Steber showed the world she could nolonger sing Donna Anna. I thought at the time, and still think,that it was an entirely unnecessary calamity, and that Metmanagement abrogated its responsibility by letting her go onin Act II. It had been very clear throughout Act I that she was inunusually poor form. She looked terrible; the voice was forced,the top notes raw and shrill; trouble was everywhere evident.In the masked trio her B-flats were not reached, and theOr sai had been horribly labored and shrill. For example, with Brewer and Voigt both announcedfor Isolde, and covering each other, with Heppner fallingout, he could have been backed by Moser and Forbis(tenors who have succeeded with Tristan within thepast few seasons), already engaged to sing some Tristans;..."mrmyster spends a great deal of Opera-L time chronicling the failings of the great Steber. I was also in attendance that evening and it was not a very good Donna Anna. It was mostly a disappointing showing because of the high standard that Miss Steber had set in her three previous runs in the role at the Met. She was defeated by her own yardstick. If the performance was as poor as mrmyster portrays in his post, why did the Met let her go on four more times that season in the role? The conductor of that revival was Lorin Maazel who had a reputation at that time of being a very demanding Wunderkind who had locked horns with Regine Crespin and Rise Stevens during Rosenkavalier rehearsals. Surely he would have insisted that she be removed if her performance was as egregiously rotten as he describes it.He should also reveal his source of information about Voigt and Brewer covering each other?

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