Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eva Marton Sings Abscheulier! wo eilst du hin? from Fidelio

Monday June 18 was Hungarian dramatic soprano Eva Marton's birthday. Born in Budapest on June 18, 1943, she turns 69 this year. Marton studied at the Liszt Academy and made her debut in 1968 at the Hungarian State Opera as the Queen of Shemakha in Rimsky-Korsakov's Le coq d'or.  Her success led to invitations to sing at major houses in the west including Frankfurt, Vienna, Hamburg, La Scala, Covent Garden, San Francisco, and the Met. Her Met debut was as Eva in Die Meistersinger in 1976.  While she never sang opera in Canada, she appeared in concerts and recitals, notably at Roy Thomson Hall, singing Four Last Songs and Salome's Final Scene with Sir Andrew Davis conducting the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as a solo recital in the Roy Thomson Hall International Vocal Series in the mid 1980's.  The Marton soprano in its prime was a huge instrument of beauty, warmth and power, ideal in Wagner (Brunnhilde in particular), Strauss (Kaiserin and Elektra) and the verismo heroines of Gioconda, Tosca and Turandot. She was also a noted Leonore in Fidelio.  Marton retired officially in 2008 after a run of Klytemnestra in Barcelona, but came out of retirement to sing Klytemnestra again in Geneva in November 2010.  Singing the heavy dramatic soprano repertoire took its toll on her voice, as one noticed considerable deterioration by the 1990's. To celebrate her birthday, here's Eva Marton in her prime singing Leonore's great aria, videotaped in Tokyo in 1981. I believe it was the Vienna State Opera on tour in Japan. Her singing here has a tendency towards flatness in the high B naturals, but one is impressed by her opulent tone and the sincerity of her acting. 

- Joseph K. So

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