Mystery score

Mystery score

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quiz

Spot the errors in the following question posed to incoming San Francisco Opera music director Nicola Luisotti by Robert Wilder Blue:
La Boheme appeared in San Francisco Opera's first season (1923) and has never been absent from the repertory. During its first decades, the Company presented the greatest Italian singers in the roles of Mimi and Rodolfo: Claudia Muzio, Lucrezia Bori, Mafalda Favero, Licia Albanese, Rosana Carteri, Renata Tebaldi, Mirella Freni; and Giovanni Martinelli, Beniamino Gigli, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Galliano Massini, Giuseppe di Stefano, Gianni Raimondi, and Luciana Pavarotti. Since the 1960s, however, it has been rare to see an all-Italian cast singing La Boheme in the major opera houses outside of Italy. Has this lead to a stylistic difference, and, if so, does that matter?
(The lack of an accent on "Boheme" is not part of the quiz. I'm just lazy.)

17 comments:

winpal said...

Well, let's see:
1) Lucrezia Bori was Spanish.
2) Rosanna Carteri - 2 r's.
3) Galliano Masini - 1 s.
4) Perhaps Luciano's twin sister Luciana sang Mimi?
5) The Freni/Pavarotti performances were actually in 1988, somewhat after the 1960s and a half century removed from "the first decades" of the company.

winpal said...

That should be 2 n's in Rosanna. It is contagious.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Very good! That is more errors than I spotted: the ones that made me keel over laughing were "Luciana" and finding Bori in that list of Italians. SFO needs you as a proofreader.

One small item - Pav and Freni sang in Boheme together in 1967 as well as 1988, according to the program and the opera archives.

winpal said...

Now that '67 performance would have been one to hear!!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, yeah!

D. said...

A further, minor error: Question should be "Has this led...?"

Also, and just for the halibut: "the roles of Mimi and Rodolfo" do not equal "an all-Italian cast." Mr. Blue comes across as a sloppy writer.

(I think we saw a late performance by Pavarotti in Bohème at the Met.)

Dr.B said...

San Francisco Opera archive does not show Bori as Mimi. Italians were frequently paired with non Italians like Bjorling and Dorothy Kirsten.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oooo, good catch. I should check Martinelli, not a natural Rodolfo though he probably did sing a few in his long career.

Lisa Hirsch said...

D. - yeah.

A friend once told me about going to some routinely-cast Boheme at the Met and finding that through a lucky coincidence of cancellation and availability, the Mimi and Rodolfo were Caballe and Pavarotti. Apparently he sang "Che gelida manina" so beautifully that he got a giant ovation and Caballe stepped out of character to applaud him.

Sator Arepo said...

Dang, I was going to go for the accent ague on "Boheme". You busted me, Lisa.

(For no reason: Mrs Arepo is a professional proofreader, and we both used to work for Schwann (classical music catalogue) before its untimely demise, so I sympathize about your name-sensitivity.)

Lisa Hirsch said...

Haha, yes, busted myself! I need to figure out easy ways to do the basic accents!

Lisa Hirsch said...

P. S. Dr. B., Bori is shown as singing Mimi in the 1933 run of Boheme. Her name is spelled wrong on the cast page (Licrizia), so if you searched on her full name, correctly spelled, you wouldn't find it. My search was on "Bori".

winpal said...

Perhaps Mr. Blue was a very young apprentice proofreader at SFO in 1933.

Immanuel Gilen said...

This is not necessarily an error, but I believe the first season of SFO was technically presented at Stanford in 1922, and it consisted of Carmen, Faust & Pagliacci. La Boheme was indeed the first opera presented in San Francisco, though.

Lisa Hirsch said...

That sure sounds right to me.

cedichou said...

To write accents, it's: & egrave; (without the space between the & and the egrave; otherwise, if this understand html, it looks like this: è

Lisa Hirsch said...

Belated thanks, cedichou. There is also another way to use codes to write accents in HTML.