Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Great Voice Has Passed On...

With apologies for a brief respite from my blog writing, which I shall resume later this week, may I relay to  those of you who may have missed the sad announcement that the legendary  Italian soprano, Licia Albanese, passed away  the week before last, at the age of 105.
If you have not heard her sing, I would strongly suggest that you listen to the scintillating  colors that she created; both in the characters she sang, and in the vocal powers she possessed.
During my school years, I made a point of listening to her as much as I could, marveling at the instrument this woman was the owner of;  especially in Italian opera, which is what she was primarily noted for.
Two other singers who also fall into the category of sheer vocal weaponry, for me, are the American artists   Marian Anderson and Richard Tucker.
Anderson, who could move into the tenor range with the same unalterable purity as her venturing into the soprano realm, simply pulled me into her gravitational field by way of the sounds  that emanated from her throat, regardless of the music;  whether it was a  Spiritual from the cotton fields of the American South, or  a Lied from Schubert - I believe that she was the first Black to be accepted by, and  sing in the Metropolitan Opera .
As for Richard Tucker - well; do listen to his performance of "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen" from La Boheme,  after which  I would wonder if you  might still have been  more impressed by the likes of  Caruso, Gigli, or   Peerce - or any other tenor you may have heard sing Italian opera, after listening to Tucker.
This man, for me, constitutes another example of what the power of the human instrument can accrue...



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