OTHER SINGERS
 
NATALIE DESSAY
Natalie Dessay is a talented coloratura who takes on the neglected roles as well as some of the more well-known coloratura showpieces.  She is known for her acting ability and her range.

HER BEST: Lakmé. Click here to hear the extent of her range.

SUMI JO
Sumi Jo is another incredible coloratura.  Especially well-known for her interpretation of the Queen of the Night and also Korean songs, she has one of the loveliest voices in modern opera, and is probably the most talented coloratura since Joan Sutherland.  Her voice is much less harsh than Sutherland's, however.  Here is the Queen of the Night's "Revenge aria."

HER BEST:  The Queen of the Night

MADO ROBIN
Another coloratura.  And while Anna Moffo, Natalie Dessay, and Sumi Jo can all sing circles around her, I think I'm pretty justified in saying "HOLY COW!"  Click here to hear why.

HER BEST: Lakmé

ELEANOR STEBER
Samuel Barber composed the wonderful "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" for this beautiful, powerful soprano, which she sang better than anyone else has since, including such great singers as Leontyne Price and Kathleen Battle.  She had a somewhat humiliating departure from the Met, slowly being replaced by more "modern" singers like Maria Callas.  She had alcohol problems and weight problems, failed marriages, humiliating snubs, and still she held on to her love of life and music.  She once said, after retiring, "I have relished my work and enjoyed my travels and the people I have met.... I felt as a little girl skipping her way to school, filled with wonder at the beauty of sunlight dancing through the trees." She died on October 3, 1990, at the age of 76.  Rest in peace.

HER BEST: Berlioz's "Les nuits d'été"

MIRIAM GAUCI
Miriam Gauci's alternately powerful and gentle voice can stir the emotions just as well as many more famous opera singers in the 90's, plus all of her stuff is pretty cheap.  I for one would be willing to pay a lot more to hear her Suor Angelica than Joan Sutherland's, although Christa Ludwig as the Princess in the Joan Sutherland version is almost worth it.  Miriam Gauci is probably my second favorite singer.

HER BEST: Suor Angelica.  Here is an example.

CECILIA BARTOLI
The only mezzo-soprano that I'm truly a fan of, Cecilia Bartoli's beautiful voice and astonishing skill put her on my list of favorites.  She's currently very in demand.

HER BEST: Any Rossini mezzo-soprano role

KATHLEEN BATTLE
Yeah, she's hard to work with.  But she really is a good singer, most people admit that.  I for one think she's excellent, especially in French opera, although she's not as skilled a coloratura as Natalie Dessay, nor does she have the range.

HER BEST:  Anything by Handel

RENATA SCOTTO
Renata Scotto combined a lovely voice with the ability to convey the emotions of her character.  She was a marvelous Butterfly, Walter (from La Wally), and Liú.

HER BEST: Probably Butterfly.

OTHERS
Other singers that I think are good, but I wouldn't consider myself a real "fan" of, would be...

Christa Ludwig, mezzo-soprano, an excellent Princess (from Suor Angelica)

Edita Gruberova, soprano, versatile and beautiful as Olympia, Antonia, Stella, and Giulietta

Rosalind Elias, mezzo-soprano, especially good in secondary mezzo roles like Suzuki

Robert Merrill, baritone, a fantastic Gérmont

Leontyne Price, soprano, a good Floria Tosca

Maria Callas, soprano, a superb actress, amazing as Norma and Tosca.

Giorgio Tozzi, bass, a fine Colline

Hildegarde Behrens, soprano, affecting as Tosca and Senta

MY FAVORITE SONGS

S. RACHMANINOV: "Vocalise" sung by Anna Moffo
G. PUCCINI: "Senza Mamma" sung by Miriam Gauci
A. CATALANI: "Ebben?  Ne andro lontana" sung by Miriam Gauci
W. MOZART: "Der hölle rache" sung by Sumi Jo
G. VERDI: "Willow Song/Ave Maria" sung by Anna Moffo
G. PUCCINI: "Vissi d'arte" sung by Miriam Gauci
G. PUCCINI: "Un bel di" sung by Montserrat Caballé
G. GERSHWIN: "Summertime" sung by Sumi Jo
W. MOZART: "Matern aller arten" sung by Sumi Jo
 

 

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