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15 October 2014
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Addendum to Music in Wartime Italy.

by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Contributed by 
Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper
People in story: 
Tom Canning and various
Location of story: 
Italy
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A3480716
Contributed on: 
05 January 2005

During my sojourn in both Italy and Austria in 1944/47 and having some wonderful experiences in the music world.
It is of some interest to discover that many of the great names in music in the past 25 /30 years were schoolchildren at that time.
Pavarotti and Mirella Freni were schoolmates at Modena in Northern Italy, Carreras and Monserrat Caballe were learning to-gether in Barcelona, while over in Madrid we had all sorts of people like
the great Victoria De Los Angles, Theresa Breganza,Loringar, Krause, and of course
the big man himself Placido Domingo !
There were many others of course but they might have been just recent graduates, wheras Joan Sutherland, Kiri Te Kanewa came along a little bit later and Maria Callas had already made her debut in Athens in 1941 in Tosca , a role she was to live her life with "Vissi de arte" - all for love and art. Some tremendous artistes were reared in that terrible time of war, which still holds to-day - out of tragedy comes greatness !

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Message 1 - Addendum to Music in Wartime Italy

Posted on: 05 January 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Tito Gobbi and Beniamino Gigli were still very much on the scene too.

It wasn't all doom and gloom.

Peter

 

Message 2 - Addendum to Music in Wartime Italy

Posted on: 06 January 2005 by Trooper Tom Canning - WW2 Site Helper

Peter -
my main point being that all the ones I mentioned were at school when we were killing each other - and so beauty still follows and conquers tragedy ! As I have no doubt it will in SE Asia !I recognise that many of the great singers were still around Scipa et al, although many of the females had taken off for the USA prior to the war Gobbi was an up and comer - Gigli was getting a bit on towards his sell by date as I found in a two hour concert he gave for our brigade either at Casorio or Lucera, Tebaldi might not have made is as soon as she did if there had been more females around - as it was she did very well and slid into the Roman scene beautifully as I heard many times, from being a housewife( In Ancona) who claimed she could sing better than many at the time - she was probably right ! Callas always had an indifferent time until Tebaldi hung up her gloves, then - and only then did she take over at the Met. after a rapturous debut in London some five years before in , I think , Gioconda ? Callas because of Tebaldi's presence had a very short life at the top, in comparison with say Sutherland - De los Angeles -Loringar -Horne - even Te Kanawa who were all much longer at the top - and look at Mirella Freni - still belting it out, although her looks have gone - the voice hasn't ! Not bad for a 70 year old ! They were great days Peter
but now they can make more money by selling a disc - viz Church,Jenkins ,Sissal,Bocelli and no doubt Cecilia Bertoli, so Opera will go downhill from here on - what a shame! We shall probably never hear the likes of Tetrazinni - Muzio -
Melba - Turner - Patti - Galla Curci -
Lotte Lehman again but I still get a kick out of my remastered CD's of many of them ! The origins of the Peach Melba and Melba toast is unknown to the youngsters of to-day
but Dame Nellie was a character !

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