Friday, March 22, 2013

Risë Stevens, Indisposed Singers, and Blog Trends (a Stream-of-Consciousness Post)

My first Risë Stevens album
Unless you've been out cold or under a rock for the past few days, you probably already know that the great American diva Risë Stevens died earlier this week at the age of 99. She was one of the first opera figures on my personal opera horizon. I had many of her recordings—she was my first Carmen, and first Orfeo—and I eagerly followed her career when she retired from singing and took on the leadership of the Mannes College of Music.

Many bloggers have recently issued tributes to Ms. Stevens, and they've posted many of her wonderful recordings. Here are links to some of them: 

New Yorker cartoon by Stanley Harris.
Speaking of Slipped Disc, I don’t know where I’ve been! Norman Lebrecht writes this very cool, and extremely busy blog. This is where much of the interesting discussion about singer cancellations has been going on. He posts several times a day about all aspects of musical performance, so there's always something new to read. He also gets a lot of comments, so again, lots to read.

Finally, and totally unrelated to the foregoing: one of my older postsFurther Stupid Reviewer Commentsis suddenly getting a lot of traffic. ("A lot" is relative of course, but it's rare that my posts re-trend.) I can't really determine why, but as my Mom used to say, "It's not a complaint, it's just an observation." 

Come to think of it, when she said that, it often was a complaint, cleverly disguised as observation. But this really is just an observation. 


  1. Well, Further Stupid Reviewer Comments was pretty funny!

    When I saw all the notices that Risë Stephens had died I had to go and look up who she was - I had never heard of her before. But I'm glad I did.

    1. She was kind of the first crossover star. Her Carmen and Orfeo are quite exciting. Unfortunately in the RCA recording of Orfeo the chorus is pretty raucous-sounding, and she sounds a bit matronly, but it's still worth checking out. The Samson and Delilah aria is very sensuous.

      Thanks for the comment on FSRC! :)

  2. Editor's note: I no longer endorse slipped disc --- classical click bait, and rumors, rumors, rumors. Kind of bitchy too, but not in the fun, Parterre Box way.


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