DVD0088. Otello, Live Performance, 1958, w.Serafin Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Mario Del Monaco, Rosanna Carteri, Renato Capecchi, Gino Mattera, Plinio Clabassi, etc. (Italy) Hardy 4004. - 8018783040047
"At his best, [Del Monaco] was capable of considerable variety of tone and dynamics, and he built his singing on the foundation of a sound legato. [The above] is a noble, powerful, complex portrayal, a more complete character than his studio recordings, and thus the essential Mario del Monaco OTELLO recording."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Sept./Oct., 2002
It was always a given that Del Monaco possessed a remarkably powerful, steady voice with unsurpassed brilliance and power. He was, however, often criticized for singing with little finesse, for using his power unrelentingly. That was never true (his many live broadcast recordings give even stronger evidence of his ability to sing with light and shade). I found myself thrilling to the sheer sound of the voice and to the commitment and passion with which he sang. What will surprise many is the variety of dynamics and color that the tenor did bring to his singing. It is easy for critics to comment on the method of a singer and to forget the most important element - the sound of the voice....His diction was a model of clarity and crispness, his intonation was almost always centered, and his rhythmic pulse was extremely strong. In many cases one listens to this kind of singing and longs for the days gone by when there were singers like this....old-timers...reminisce over one of the great operatic tenor voices to be heard in the 1950s and '60s, and younger listeners discover what a great 'tenore di forza' sounds like. We have nothing like him today."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE