Hey are you guys taking the Tosca Challenge (it's like the Pepsi Challenge, only without blindfolds. Or soft drinks.) over at Parterre? I figure I may as well blerg about it since at worst I'm telling you my right answers which I already sent in, and at (likely) best, I'm misleading you with my wild guesses, mwar har har!
1: You know, I'm pretty sure this is...no, wait, I do feel like I'm giving away something, despite all my prodigous self-doubt. soooooo instead I'm going to be so cryptic as to obviate any need to read the rest of this posting. Ok. I'm pretty sure this is someone who sang Tosca not only at the Met, but in San Francisco. A very long time ago, dig? Puccini was surprisingly hard for me to find my way into when I was but an opera kitten, and I have the same memory of her recording of Vissi as I do of learning to read, a sudden "I get how this works," because and aria I had always found meandering seemed to have a shape when it was shown to me by an expert guide.
2: If this is who I think it is, she has two studio recordings, and I've never associated her much with Tosca because on the one I heard first (and last), her "Questo e il baccio" had an unmistakeable Minnie Mouse quality to it. By "muori, dannato!" I'd taken the damn thing off. Not fair, but first impressions are hard to shake. Anyway I feel increasingly certain of this one, which will make it all the more poignant when I'm wrong, wrong, wrong.
3: Well, I mean she has to be in here somewhere, though the only reason I listen to her Tosca usually is to hear Corelli sing the "o" in "Vittoria!" until everyone else on stage dies of hunger or old age. No, in truth I'm not at all sure it's her. I just thought the "perche" had that...quality. Went back and listened to a record of the lady in question in early years and was quite unsure. Some have said this selection might be the voice of a Parterre favorite and MFI punching bag, but unless La Cieca has pulled the old "Nilsson on a cylinder" trick from Opera Quiz lore, the sound quality suggests to me that it is not. Who did you think it was? Say so in comments. I won't tell anyone.
4: No idea, so I took a wild, screaming, random guess...and vent home.
5: I had help on this one, though I'd like to think I might have gotten it on my own. After all, who else does the trick of not breathing between the climactic note and the, uh, anticlimatic? note. Who else could, if they wanted to? At least without making horrible gasping noises afterward, I mean I could do that.
6: I have no idea. I punted, thinking maybe it could be her, another inevitable exponent, in late, not so healthy years--isn't there one from Paris or something, or is that a Norma? I don't go in for necrophilia, so I try to stick to prime or shortly past.
Well it's been a pleasure half-misleading you, at best. I'm afraid there's nothing else to do for a while unless you're absolutely salivating at the thought of hearing what I think of the old Hvorostovsky disc I snagged for $3.99 at Academy (so old he has brown hair. Are things allowed to have happened 15 years ago at this point? Oh vecchiaia maledetta ! Son da tutti disprezzata!) but I'm bored enough for both of us imagining that posting, so this is looking like a summer lull at least until Caramoor (or perhaps slightly earlier if the heavens should grant me a seat at the Kirov Ring.) I do enjoy the thought of making a voice ID quiz of my own, though without the delightful incentive of a prize, but I'm dragging my feet on figuring out how to host sound files, not to mention editing them together as La Cieca has done.