|music||:||Renée Fleming - Norma, Casta Diva (Bellini)|
I've found that I really do like Vincenzo Bellini's "Casta Diva" from his opera, Norma. I just don't like Maria Callas' voice. Blasphemy, I know... =\ but I'm listening to Renée Fleming's version, over and over again, and I love it.
It must be my problem because everyone else just plain adores Maria Callas. Her voice has been described as "the voice of the century", "ethereal", "one of the greatest and most versatile operatic singers in recent history", "greatest theatrical musical artist of all time", "a voice and a legend", etc.
And. The. Woman. Just. IS. Norma.
Which is why I thought it was the aria that I didn't like.
But she does this weird thing when she sings - she curls up both sides of her tongue which gives her voice a strange, strange quality that bugs me. I thought maybe the recording I got was wonky, but every single Callas piece I got was like that as well. Maybe I really need to get a good quality recording and see if it bothers me as much then.
But I'm so reluctant to buy anything because even the snippets from the "Best Of --" and "Maria Callas, The Voice Of The Century" CDs at Amazon don't sound all that much better to me... I realize that all her recordings would have been done at a time when we didn't have the equipment and technique of today, but still...
On phatladysings' recommendation, I got a Joan Sutherland version of Casta Diva... very nice, very nice. I like Sutherland's "embellishments" =)
Haven't found a Marilyn Horne one yet...