Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Opera News Awards

The honorees this year are Patrice Chereau, Juan Diego Florez, Christa Ludwig, James Morris, and Nina Stemme. It's a pretty good mix, but I had to say WTF at the following comment about Stemme, taken from the press release I received:

Online Editor Adam Wasserman salutes Ms. Stemme:

Nina Stemme has emerged as the indisputable dramatic soprano of her generation. With her molten midrange, gleaming top and generous phrasing, Stemme makes real the joys and sorrows of Wagner, Strauss, and Puccini heroines in a manner that is at once classic in style and unlike anything we’ve heard before.”

Uh, what does "the indisputable dramatic soprano of her generation" mean, anyway? Is there an adjective missing? And there's plenty of dispute about Stemme's voice qua voice. "Gleaming top" is pure cliche, plus, has this guy heard her live? I have, and the way she plants herself and lunges for anything above a high A is the antithesis of what I think of as a "gleaming top," because it's such a struggle for her to get there.

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