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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005: MUSIC HAS LOST

It must be the Boston Irish in me, but my first view of any newspaper in any city is The Irish Sports Page, so called by my mother and grandmother. You know it as The Obituaries. Sadly, and with respect and gratitude, we have lost:

VICTORIA DE LOS ANGELES, age 82, the magnificent Spanish soprano whose repertoire embraced Provencal Chanson and Xavier Montsalvage and everything in between. Her many opera recordings will have you in tears: Don't miss her Madama Butterfly and Carmen; and of course in Spanish song she was peerless.

PIERO CAPPUCCILLI aged 76; Roman baritone, a smooth and elegant artist,he was made for the big baritone roles of Verdi which he sang beautifully.
Simon Boccanegra is a must have.

GHENA DIMITROVA, Bulgarian soprano, 63; A huge voice, memorable as Santuzza, Gioconda, Turandot. She was HOT when she came to the States just over 20 years ago. A huge American career didn't happen for her-but she was hardly unemployed. I saw her most recently as Eboli, in Pittsburgh a few years ago.

DOROTHY DOW- 85, American soprano. Sang premieres by Virgil Thomson and dramatic roles at La Scala. Made a wonderful recording of Schoenberg's ERWARTUNG with
Dimitri Mitropoulos over fifty years ago. She's still hard to beat.

CARLO MARIA GIULINI, 91; Italian conductor, He conducted Callas at La Scala, I think of him as a Mozartean for his superb recordings of Figaro and Don Giovanni and for his Brahms Symphonies, recorded in LA when he was music director there. Reinvented the use of cantabile for instrumentalists. One of the greats.

JAMES KING, 80; American tenor. Memorable as Siegmund, Walther, Lohengrin and Parsifal. Later taught at Indiana University. He was also a superb Florestan.

THEODORE UPPMAN, 85; American baritone. Created Billy Budd for Benjamin Britten. It's on recording. Get it. Uppman was also a superb Pelleas and Papageno, and did lot for American song. He was part of the great generation of American born singers that included Eleanor Steber, Robert Merrill, Richard Cassilly, and Phyllis Curtin. Upppman was an American original.

MARCELLO VIOTTI, 50, Italian conductor, collapsed in performance in Zurich. Much too young.

BEVERLY WOLFF American mezzo, 77; A leading artist of the New York City Opera, she was Sesto in the famous production of Giulio Cesare, with Beverly Sills and Norman Treigle. She created Douglas Moore's Carrie Nation-she had been a fine trumpet player before she took up singing!

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