Lili Chookasian Dies

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Lili Chookasian Dies

Post by maestrob » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:23 am

Lili Chookasian, a ‘Real Contralto’ on Operatic Stages, Dies at 90

Lili Chookasian, an American singer who in the 1960s and afterward was among the most prominent contraltos in the world, died on Tuesday at her home in Branford, Conn. She was 90.

Her family confirmed the death.

Ms. Chookasian was a principal singer with the Metropolitan Opera for a quarter-century, appearing there 290 times from 1962 to 1986. She also sang in recital and was a soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras.

Critics and operagoers hailed Ms. Chookasian as a “real contralto.” Where many contraltos are endowed with the lightish, dusky equivalent of a viola, her voice — immense, deep, velvety and burnished — put a cello at her command. She was also praised for her sensitive musicianship, powerful dramatic characterizations and impeccable diction. (She had grown up speaking Armenian.)

Ms. Chookasian made her Met debut in 1962, at the age of 40, in the role of La Cieca in “La Gioconda,” by Ponchielli; the production also starred Franco Corelli, Robert Merrill and Zinka Milanov. ... 0.html?hpw

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Re: Lili Chookasian

Post by Heck148 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:03 pm

Did a Verdi Requiem with her, back in the early first time playing the piece...She was solid, filled in last minute for the scheduled artist, who got sick, IIRC.

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Lili Chookasian, R.I.P.

Post by lennygoran » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:47 am

I only heard her twice in the 1980's in Hoffman as the Mother's Voice and as Frugola in IL TABARRO but she performed at the Met nearly 300 times. Regards, Len

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Re: Lili Chookasian, R.I.P.

Post by nut-job » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:58 am

It's deja vu, all over again.

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Re: Lili Chookasian, R.I.P.

Post by stenka razin » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:47 am

Lenny, in tribute to a great artist, one of Lili's finest recordings with Thomas Schippers and the NYP: :( :( :( :(


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Re: Lili Chookasian, R.I.P.

Post by lennygoran » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:31 am

stenka razin wrote:Lenny, in tribute to a great artist, one of Lili's finest recordings with Thomas Schippers and the NYP: :( :( :( :(

Mel thanks--I've never seen this and it looks very moving:

"From one of the greatest war films ever made, Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky, with musical score by Sergei Prokofiev. Recording by Westminster Choir, with New York Philharmonic, conducted by Thomas Schippers. Soloist Lili Chookasian, contralto."

I see it's available at netflix:

Alexander Nevsky
(Aleksandr Nevsky)
1938NR108 minutes

Considered the masterpiece of Russian director Sergei Eisenstein's career, Alexander Nevsky is a commentary on the mounting Soviet resistance to the Third Reich with a historical parallel. Three years after repelling the Swedes, 13th century prince Alexander Nevsky (who some believe represents Stalin in this parable) wages war against German invaders with a vast Russian army. Sergei Prokofiev composed the music.

Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Vera Ivashova, Dmitriy Orlov, Vasili Novikov, Nikolai Arsky, Varvara Massalitinova, Aleksandra Danilova, Vladimir Yershov, Sergei Blinnikov
Sergei M. Eisenstein, D.I. Vassiliev
Foreign, Foreign Classic Dramas, Foreign Art House, Foreign Classics, Russia, Russian Language, Foreign Languages, Foreign Regions
This movie is:
Cerebral, Exciting, Heartfelt

And very important afaiac:


I see it got some negative reviews from some of the renters:

"Wow...this version of a great movie should be seen for curiousity purposes only...It shows how to destroy a great film with a lousy video/audio transfer and the worst subtitles I have ever encountered in a movie. The english grammer is so bad its hard to understand what's going on..Go and find the Criterion edition to rent...not this version! "

Here's a more positive review:

"Alexander Nevsky is a classic. Eisenstein's work is regarded as important to the development of certain aspects of American film industry in the early 20century. As artistic in a painterly sense it is most unusual and outstanding.The power of the film for nationalistic propaganda is great. It surely must have been a factor in the the Russians' ability in WW2 to withstand the Germans as they did in the 13th century.Has an operatic feel. DVD good,no problems."

Regards, Len

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Re: Lili Chookasian

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:22 am

Chookasian taught at Yale: a highly intelligent artist. I had several of her students in my competition, and they were all very well prepared.

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