Queen Lear

La Cieca wishes a very happy 80th birthday to Evelyn Lear, heard recently on Unnatural Acts of Opera singing “The Boy from Ipanema.” Another sample of her vast range of artistry can be found here, in her performance of the Letter Scene from Eugene Onegin at the San Francisco Opera in October 1971.


9 Responses to “Queen Lear”

  1. Il Tenore di Grazia Says:

    Happy Birthday to Evelyn. She’s a fine lady and artist. Will never forget her Marschallin. (And I have seen some excellent ones.)

  2. Henry Holland Says:

    A great Marie on the Bohm recording of Wozzeck and a fantastic Carlotta on the tape I have of a German radio performance of Schreker’s glorious Die Gezeichneten.

  3. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    Last night I attended a Gala honoring Catherine Malfitano, and in her 30-minute acceptance speech, she spent quite a bit of time talking about her relationship with Evelyn when Catherine was a young, budding singer. And she stated that she looked up at this woman in rehearsals and said to herself “one day I will be where you are…meaning, that one day everyone else is the cast is going to be much younger than me…well, I’m finally here!”

    Ms. Malfitano was a very sweet and gracious woman – she also told us that the movie of Tosca that she did on-sight in the Vatican with Domingo was her very first time EVER singing the role of Tosca. When introduced to her later in the evening, I told her that I thought it funny to know that it was her first Tosca, as it was also mine. Yes, her Emmy-award winning performance of that role was the very first time I ever sat through the opera – it really is a great movie and soundtrack if anyone hasn’t heard it. The way that they shot the 2nd act is really gripping!

    And bless their dear hearts, Miss Licia Albanese and the still-standing Kitty Carlyle were also present last night, amongst some of our other great divas of past generations were also in attendence – Martina Arroyo, Regina Resnik, Patricia Munsel, Lucine Amara, and Catherine Malfitano of course (p.s. her daughter looks JUST like her!)!

  4. Terry Ellsworth Says:

    An acceptance speech lasting 30 minutes? Is she trying to outdo Greer Garson? What was she honored for?

    And by the way, the Live Mehta Tosca was not “filmed in the Vatican.” It was filmed in the locations indicated in the libretto and the Vatican makes no appearance there.

  5. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    She was being honored for having had an illustrious career and for being Catherine Malfitano and for advocating the education and support of young singers forging their way in the operatic world.

    Yes, perhaps I was being too general when saying “in the Vatican” for the purpose of being brief…but the Vatican does make appearance in the film as the Castel Sant’Angelo is virtually next door. There are shots of Basilica San Pietro in the background…also, if I’m not mistaken, the Castel Sant’Angelo is in Vatican City…maybe it’s not…I don’t remember offhand and it’s been a few years since I’ve been there.

    I also attended the Opera News tribute to Rise Stevens last night…I’m surprised La Cieca hasn’t made mention of it yet. It was a beautiful reminiscence of her life on film and tv and stage…Van Cliburn and Jennifer Larmore hosted with the help of several esteemed guests (although Barbara Cook didn’t show because her building had no hot water and Denyce Graves was a no show…so much in fact, that no excuse was present to the audience and there was no mention of her other than it having been printed in the program). Rise is 92 and looks fantastic! Still lively and full of that same gorgeous Hollywood charm that she always had in her films and photographs. I have to say, I think it’s a shame that she didn’t sing more roles or for a longer period of time at the Met – only from 1938-1961 – and though Bing wanted to offer her Amneris, he was told “Of course she’ll sing Amneris, as long as you change the title…Miss Steven’s only sings title roles.” And for that matter, by the end of her time there, she did, and she was truly astounding (not that I ever saw her perform – but based on the video clips we watched)!

    At any rate, maybe one day soon, La Cieca will grace us with some podcasts paying tribute to some of our still-with-s us divas: Patrice Munsel, Licia Albanese, Martina Arroyo, Rise, Regina Resnik, Leyla Gencer and various others.

  6. Terry Ellsworth Says:

    You weren’t being “too general.” You just made a mistake. Just admit it. That’s what decent people do.

    The Tosca was not filmed in the Vatican. Castel Sant’Angelo is not in the Vatican and it’s not next door. There was a shot of the “Vatican” — I guess you mean St. Peter’s — ? That’s like saying the film was shot in Manhattan while one was really in Queens because there’s a shot of the Empire State Building in the background. Sheesh.

  7. Il Tenore di Coloratura Superba Says:

    Terry, if I was completely wrong, I’d be the first person to admit it. Yes, I was wrong for saying that the movie was filmed IN the Vatican, as it was not…and further examination of the layout of Rome and Vatican City also tell me that the Castel Sant’Angelo is not part of Vatican City – HOWEVER, perhaps if you opened up a map as well, you would see why it is easy to think that the Castel is affiliated with the Vatican…because it IS nearby – and no, that has nothing to do with your analogy of Manhattan and Queens. As described on a tourism website about the Castel, I quote:

    “In 1277 it was occupied by Nicholas II who connected it to the Vatican by the famous corridor, a safety passage which runs along the top of the encircling wall of the Vatican.”

    And if you look at a map, the building is just on the other end of the Via della Conciliazion, across from San Pietro – I knew my memory served my correct, because although I’ve never been to the Castel, I have walked past it and I have been in the Vatican. I would say a proper analogy would be Shea Stadium in conjunction to the World’s Fair monuments – just up the street.

    Decent people also do their research, as and it is, I said in my second posting here that I could not remember distinctly off hand whether or not the Castel was part of the Vatican…when in Rome, everything is so damn close to each other.

    So yes, I made a mistake in my first entry as to the location of the filming for the movie.

  8. Mr. Ellsworth,
    Please try to play nicely.

  9. Lordy Lordy… and to think I thought it was filmed in Bagdhad with shots of Jerusalem! 🙂

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