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Teresa Stich-Randall

By March 3, 2018March 16th, 2023No Comments

Stich-Randall is unusual in that she came from the Hartford Connecticut area and made her career in Europe, mainly in Vienna. She was also a principal singer at the festival in Aix-en-Provence. In some ways, she was ahead of her time.  She sang early music before the early music movement began.  However, she was a full lyric soprano who was just as capable of singing Mozart as she was Richard Strauss.  She was a marvelous singer, and she had beautiful placement of tone and air into the resonating cavities of the head.  Today, her voice would be deemed to be too bright.  However, the voice carried, it had no wobble, and it was a healthy sound.  You can see where my prejudices lie.

Teleman Cantata “Machtet die Tore weit”, Soprano aria:  Jesu komm in meine Seele

Jesu, komm in meine Seele,
lass sie deine Wohnung sein.
Treib aus ihr der Sünden Wust,
Ehre, Geiz und Fleischeslust,
gönn ihr deiner Gnaden Schein.

Jesus come into my soul
let it be Your dwelling place
Drive out from it a hoard of sins
Envy, greed, and lust,
Grant that your mercy shine in my soul.

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!
Was der Himmel und die Welt
An Geschöpfen in sich hält,
Müssen dessen Ruhm erhöhen,
Und wir wollen unserm Gott
Gleichfalls itzt ein Opfer bringen,
Daß er uns in Kreuz und Not
Allezeit hat beigestanden.

Exult in God in every land!
Whatever creatures are contained
by heaven and earth
must raise up this praise,
and now we shall likewise
bring an offering to our God,
since He has stood with us
at all times during suffering and necessity.

Jump to 4:33 to bypass the French interview with Stich-Randall

Surta è la notte,
e Silva non ritorna!
Ah, non tornasse ei più!
Questo odiato veglio,
che quale immondo spettro
ognor m’insegue,
col favellar d’amore,
più sempre Ernani mi configge in core.
Ernani! Ernani, involami
all’abborrito amplesso.
Fuggiamo, se teco vivere
mi sia d’amor concesso,
per antri e lande inospite
ti seguirà il mio piè.
Un Eden di delizia
saran quegli antri a me.

Tutto sprezzo che Ernani
non favella a questo core,
non v’ha gemma che in amore
possa l’odio tramutar, ah!
Vola, o tempo, e presto reca
du mia fuga il lieto istante,
vola , o tempo, al core amante
è supplizio l’indugiar.

The night has risen,
and Silva has not returned!
Ah, would that he never return!
This despised old man,
who, like a foul specter,
pursues me always
with talk of love,
presses Ernani ever deeper into my heart.
Ernani! Ernani carry me away
from that abhorred embrace.
Let us fly, if love allows me
to live with you;
through caves and inhospitable wastelands
my footsteps will follow you.
Those caves will be
an Eden of delight for me.

I scorn everything that doesn’t speak
of Ernani to this heart;
there is no jewel
that can change hatred into love, ah!
Fly, O time, and quickly bring
the happy moment of my flight;
fly, O time, to the loving heart –
delay is torment.

vor sich
Es gibt ein Reich, wo alles rein ist:
Es hat auch einen Namen: Totenreich.
hebt sich im Sprechen vom Boden
Hier ist nichts rein!
Hier kam alles zu allem!
Bald aber nahet ein Bote,
Hermes heissen sie ihn.
Mit seinem Stab
Regiert er die Seelen:
Wie leichte Vögel,
Wie welke Blätter
Treibt er sie hin.
Du schöner, stiller Gott!
Sieh! Ariadne wartet!

Ach, von allen wilden Schmerzen
Muss das Herz gereinigt sein,
Dann wird dein Gesicht mir nicken,
Wird dein Schritt vor meiner Höhle.
Dunkel wird auf meinen Augen,
Deine Hand auf meinem Herzen sein.
In den schönen Feierkleidern,
Die mir meine Mutter gab,
Diese Glieder werden bleiben,
Stille Höhle wird mein Grab.
Aber lautlos meine Seele
Folget ihrem neuen Herrn,
Wie ein leichtes Blatt im Winde
Folgt hinunter, folgt so gern.

Dunkel wird auf meinen Augen
Und in meinem Herzen sein,
Diese Glieder werden bleiben,
Schön geschmückt und ganz allein.

Du wirst mich befreien,
Mir selber mich geben,
Dies lastende Leben,
Du, nimm es von mir.
An dich werd’ ich mich ganz verlieren,
Bei dir wird Ariadne sein.

(to herself).
A land there is whence all uncleanness,
Is banished far the land of death.
(Rises from the ground as she speaks.)
Here all is tainted!
Here nought is holy!
Soon a messenger approacheth
Hermes do the gods him call.
With his wand
He urges on the huddled souls!
Like birds that nutter,
Like leaves all faded
Drives he them on.
Thou beauteous god serene!
See, Ariadne waiteth!

Ah! from every taint of passion
Purged must be the human heart.
Then with a smile thy godlike features
Towards me turning, quickly hither
Thou wilt wing thy fight, and on me
Press thy icy death-compelling hand.
In the glittering festal raiment,
Work of best loved mother’s hand,
I will wrap these limbs, and lay me
In my tomb in yonder cave.
But my soul in seemly silence
Followeth its new-made lord,
Like a leaf by zephyr driven,
Followeth to the realms below.

Darkness shall come to my eyes
And in my heart as well,
These limbs will remain,
Beautifully appointed and all alone.

Thou shalt free me
Thou wilt to myself restore me.
This life and its burdens,
From me thou wilt lift,
In thee shall I be lost completely,
With thee will Ariadne dwell.

Teresa Stich-Randall

Teresa Stich-Randall (December 24, 1927 – July 17, 2007) was a European-based American soprano opera singer.  Teresa Stich-Randall was born in New Hartford, Connecticut in 1927 and studied at Hartford School of Music in Hartford under Ivan Velikanoff.  Her operatic debut was in the role of Henrietta M. in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All in 1947, and she sang the title role in Otto Luening’s Evangeline in 1948.

She was discovered in the late 1940s by Arturo Toscanini, who engaged her for a series of performances with his NBC Symphony Orchestra in New York City. Toscanini described her at the time as “the find of the century”.She appeared as Nanetta in his two-part NBC radio broadcast of Verdi’s Falstaff, in 1950, one of Toscanini’s most acclaimed performances. It was also released on LP, 45-RPM, and CD.

Stich-Randall travelled on a Fulbright Scholarship to Europe, where she made her name as a singer. She made her European debut in Florence and won a competition in Lausanne the following year. This led to appearances with the Basel Opera in Switzerland.

Stich-Randall was a regular performer with the Vienna State Opera and at the Salzburg Festival. From 1955, she was a regular at summer events at Aix-en-Provence in France, where her portrayals of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro were highly esteemed.

In 1962, the Austrian Government awarded her the title of Kammersängerin, given to esteemed vocal artists. Stich-Randall made her debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera as Gilda in Rigoletto in 1955. She first sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in Così fan tutte in 1961 and remained on their roster of singers until 1966.]Stich-Randall made her Boston debut in 1963 for the Peabody Mason Concert series.

Stich-Randall appeared on a number of notable recordings including Falstaff, Der Rosenkavalier, The Marriage of Figaro and L’Orfeo.

Her career had largely ended by 1980 and she died in Vienna, aged 79, in 2007, of natural causes.