Friday, July 06, 2007

Opera has another loss

Anthony Tommasini, writing in today's Times, reports the death of Régine Crespin, following the death of Beverly Sills earlier this week.
Régine Crespin, the French operatic soprano and later mezzo-soprano, one of the most important vocal artists to emerge from France in the decades after World War II, died Wednesday in Paris, where she lived. She was 80.
I grew up hearing her on the Met broadcasts. I remember her "Tosca", and her Marschallin ( the image at left is Régine Crespin (the Marschallin) and Elisabeth Söderström (Octavian)) with Solti at the helm. The last side of the set of records was pure magic.

Tommasini concludes her obit with this:

In later life Ms. Crespin won wide recognition as a voice teacher. During some 1995 master classes at the Mannes College of Music in New York, the students were enraptured not only by her insightful critiques, but by her insider tales about opera stars.

Recalling her performances at the Met with the powerhouse tenor Franco Corelli in “Tosca” and Massenet’s “Werther,” she said he was convinced that eating raw garlic before a performance was good for the voice. But when they sang duets, Corelli would regularly burp. She learned to adjust, Ms. Crespin said.

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