Apologies to the Gruberovian Queens who did nothing to cause me to attack.
This is for ilNuovoArchaeOpteryx.
A Youtuber who refers to Joyce Didonato and Jennifer Larmore as true "assoluta" singers (and they are indeed very versatile but do not have the range of an Assoluta) yet goes around on Edita Gruberova videos praising her and even saying:
"I want to hear Pendatchanska sing that aria at 66."
As if age had anything to do with good singing. Yes, a singer's voice peaks in its 30's through early 50's, but that in and of itself makes not a great singer. What makes a great singer is the way one sings a role. At the time Pendatchanska made her debut as Elisabetta, she was 27, still young but with some experience. She was powerful, her vibrato in "Va, la morte" and the final "Quel sangue versato" stimulating, support in the low tones (most notably the Bb in act II), and an immense musicality seen no where else besides Callas and Marisa Galvany.
And even after that ferocious singing at a very young age, she is still going strong at 42, recently singing Eboli in Spain (couldn't attend due to seizures :( I heard she was fabulous!).
However, just look at that pathetic Edita Gruberova. Her "voice"-or what's left of it-is steadily decaying, a la Natalie Dessay if not worse. Her recent performance of "Anna Bolena's Ice Cream Parlour" in 2012 was a mess-she didn't even attempt the low notes anymore, each note above Bb5 was scooped so hard I held my ears and couldn't listen anymore. Gruberova has taken a dive headfirst into a deep black pit of vocal decline, and there is no escape. Only one solution-retirement.
So which is the better Elisabetta? A 66 year old vocal ridicule who can hardly scoop out notes anymore, or a 27 year old vocal extraordinaire who brings out the drama in one of Donizetti's heroines?