Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The infamous booing of Renée Fleming in the 1998 Lucrezia Borgia at La Scala

In her autobiography, Renée Fleming described this as the worst night of her operatic life: The booing of her opening night Lucrezia Borgia at La Scala in 1998.

Numerous explanations as to why she was actually booed (from low quality singing and lack of bel canto style to anti-American La Scala fractions) are discussed here. Renée Fleming herself has stated that she in retrospect probably took on too many new parts that season, and that she didn´t feel she was singing her best.

As I know nothing of bel canto, my opinion may count for very little, but apart from the somewhat strange ornamentation dividing the two sections of the aria (is that a high F?), I think she sounded just fine.

You may now judge for yourselves:

Renée Fleming: Era desso from Lucrezia Borgia. La Scala 1998.

Posted on Youtube by WilhelmMeister01

4 comments:

Gonzalo Tello said...

in my opinion, she brings a fantastic intrepretation. I posted the highlights of this recording, as well with some audio clips in a post in my blog

http://operaperu.blogspot.com/2008/04/lucrezia-borgia-con-rene-fleming-scala.html

NV said...

The notes are there of course, but as far as style is concerned, it has nothing to do with bel canto. There is no vocal line, no continuous breath supporting the legato, the high notes are pushed, she gives the (maybe) false impression to be at the end of her breath at the end of each sentence, the coloraturatura is technically OK but stylistically “goaty” … Listen to Sutherland, to Caballe, and if you don’t want to take into account the extraordinary beauty of these voices, listen to Devia. Devia has not the most beautiful voice of the world but it is a masterpiece of breath and style… and she is still singing marvellously at sixty.

Well, that said, italians could be more polite with their foreign guests...

mostly opera... said...

Sutherland, I´ve never really taken to. But Mariella Devia...
I actually considered posting a clip of her with this aria below Fleming - she is indeed marvellous.

NV said...

Just appeared on youtube, an audio comparison -is there really anything to compare ? - between Fleming and Devia. Nothing new of course, but the comments are passionate...

http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yk2A-UELFI

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