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Posted by Abraxas on June 6, 2014, 11:14 pm
"The unanimous rudeness with which Italian critics treated Plowright (I am speaking in general, I have seen no reviews of this performance in particular) had a degree of national prejudice behind it, the implication being that she was a size too small for the roles she was doing because an English singer naturally would be so, and such a singer could only have a career in England where they don’t understand opera anyway… Alas for national pride, the same criticisms have to be levelled at Bonisolli. His is actually a very good "baritonal" tenor voice as long as nothing heroic is asked of it. "Ah si, ben mio" is beautifully shaped and shaded. But then comes "Di quella pira"... There are two things you can do if your voice is too small for what you are singing. You can leave it small and hope it will do (the Plowright way), or you can shout and bark (the Bonisolli way). It is a pretty ugly display and the audience rise to him as a man. Evidently there is something deep in the Italian psyche which responds to this sort of thing, rather as Spaniards respond to bull-fighting, and which will always remain inexplicable". Wow! Now that's a "cultural" prejudiced, spiteful review...we are still wsiting for a moderately competent British Manrico.
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