Author Topic: Teresa Stratas  (Read 483 times)

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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Teresa Stratas
« on: October 30, 2017, 11:15:21 PM »
The name of Teresa Stratas is sprinkled though search results here but she never got her own thread. Over the past few years, there has been a profusion of videos on youtube for those who are interested in catching up with parts of her career they missed.

By chance, I saw her autobiographical film, "Stratosphere" while I was in Cyprus of all places, more than 30 years ago that really impressed me about her life and attitude to her art. This was after seeing her in the movie theatre wersion of Traviata with Domingo when it came out around that time. There was the interesting Pagliacci directed by Zeffirelli, also a treat to watch.

I read that some called her, hopefully with endearment, the "little Callas", maybe because she was also Greek and 13 years younger. Stratas' timbre though is more soprano, the kind that comes from petite songbirds on the order of Dessay, but what volume and emotional intensity! She could sing cabaret unlike other sopranos whose sound is too soupy (won't mention names here). I find it astonishing how she changes the style of her voice in this clip before the Bushes at the White House, must be around the early 90's. The video is poor quality but so much of her artistry comes through. For those who are bored already with "O mio Babbino" can concentrate on her facial expressions and arm movements.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/CEUz2a0MeD0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/CEUz2a0MeD0</a>

There is so much I have listened to over the past few days but should not make this initial post too long. Stratas and Wunderlich must have been a match made in heaven for Traviata. I wonder if there is a full reconding somewhere. Both of them do things other singers can only dream of like swells (messa di voce) and lengthening phrases for emotional effect that others would have been choking for air.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/K0fU9zsmFKU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/K0fU9zsmFKU</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ewOnhObwXRY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ewOnhObwXRY</a>
"I write to discover what I know."
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Offline GioCar

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 11:26:27 PM »
I'm not really that much into opera singers, but to me she is and will be Lulu for ever

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 11:21:49 AM »
I'm not really that much into opera singers, but to me she is and will be Lulu for ever

Re: "Lulu for ever."  ~I could not agree more! 
That Boulez recording of Berg's complete Lulu (completed by Friedrich Cerha) w Stratas as Lulu is a great argument that there can be 'definitive' recordings / performances.

I had no idea she is of an age where her career intersected to perform with Wunderlich, and there, zamyrabyrd is quite right, i.e. talk about sustained and constantly forward-fed / momentum vocal line, they are indeed in duet an exceptionally formidable pairing.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 01:16:47 PM by Monsieur Croche »
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Offline jessop

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 04:13:43 PM »
Absolutely agree with the Lulu comments. The only singer I can think of who might be able to top Stratas as Lulu for me is Barbara Hannigan........but I am yet to watch that DVD recording. The Boulez recording of Lulu is by far the best CD recording of the opera, particularly because of Stratas.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2017, 01:52:58 AM »
Here are some more examples of her art. Her phrasing, giving a sense of horror and desperation in the Verdi Requiem is not exactly what heavier voices would do who usually sing this:

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/--MssH63nd8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtube.com/v/--MssH63nd8</a>

From the sacred to the profane, she is quite a vamp as Giuditta. I'd love to see the whole film:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/nj2sVGJ_OUg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/nj2sVGJ_OUg</a>

This is lovely, if not little known, aria from the repertoire of fin-de-siècle operettas that she apparently did when it was not exactly the most popular trend:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/iseUq3-Bh6s" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/iseUq3-Bh6s</a>

"I write to discover what I know."
 ― Flannery O'Connor

Offline Tsaraslondon

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 08:39:22 AM »
I  recall seeing Stratas at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden many moons ago, when I was still a student. She was singing Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, and I can't now for the life of me remember any of the other singers. I do, however, remember her very well. She was all you would want a Susanna to be and Deh vieni in the last act was absolutely mesmerising.

Other than that I've only seen her in videos or heard her on disc. She make a fabulous, and totally believable Salome in the Götz Friedrich film, and she is superb in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles. Her Nedda, in Zeffirelli's film, is a long way from the heartless little minx she is often portrayed, with loads of subtext in the Ballatella , as she plays with the children. One just knows that her relationship with Canio is a childless one, and maybe that this is at the root of their problems.

Incidentally, ZB, that Traviata with Wunderlich is (or used to be) available on CD on the Orfeo label. I have it and it's very good, though she doesn't quite eclipse Callas. Always intelligent and musical, her voice and technique isn't quite as complete. The voice lets her down a bit in the Zeffirelli film as well, but I can't think of any other Violetta on film who moves me more.

The excerpt from the Requiem surprised me. I didn't think it would have been in her voice, but her dramatic commitment carries her through. She can't, though, manage the ppp top B in the Requiem section, and, wisely probably, sings it at a good mf. Tebaldi and Price are my yardsticks here, though Schwarzkopf, who many don't consider right in the music, carries it off magnificently, and is at least as dramatically involved and committed.

I also have her two discs of Kurt Weil, which I absolutely love.

Stratas is definietely one of my favourite artists, but one I've usually enjoyed seeing more than just listening to.  Some of the excerpts you've posted here have forced me to reconsider.

\"A beautiful voice is not enough.\" Maria Callas

Offline springrite

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Re: Teresa Stratas
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 10:06:59 AM »
The best Lulu for sure but you have to SEE the video of Salome! It will blow you away!

She's a epitome of a singing actress.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

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