OP0011. MARIA DI ROHAN, Live Performance, 26 March, 1974, w. Gavazzeni Cond. La Fenice Ensemble, Venezia; Renata Scotto, Renato Bruson, Umberto Grilli, etc. (Italy) 2-Golden Age of Opera GAO 156/57, w.25pp Libretto-Brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final ever-so-slightly used copy! - 8007068156009
"[Scotto] threw herself into everything she sang, never holding back. Scotto was a totally theatrical creature who brought every character she sang vividly to life in a way not found in very many sopranos this side of Maria Callas. If the result is occasional hardness on a high note or an unsteady pianissimo, that is a small price to pay for the total immersion she offers."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
"Bruson was one of the foremost bel canto and Verdi baritones of his generation, and while this side of his artistry is lesser-known in the United States, he was also an accomplished song performer, specializing again in Romantic-era Italian works. He frequently championed the songs of Tosti, and was named an honorary citizen of Cortona, Tosti's home city, in recognition of this. While his Verdi roles are perhaps his best-known, especially Macbeth, Rigoletto, Renato (UN BALLO IN MASCHERA), and Simon Boccanegra, he sang in no fewer than seventeen Donizetti operas during the 1970s and 1980s, just ahead of the crest of a great resurgence of interest in lesser-known nineteenth-century works.
He made his opera debut as the Conte di Luna in IL TROVATORE at Spoleto in 1961. He appeared at the Met for the first time in 1969, as Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, and made his La Scala debut in LINDA DI CHAMONIX in 1972. In 1973, he made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, and in 1975 he made his Covent Garden debut in the same role, substituting for Piero Cappuccilli. His Vienna State Opera debut was in 1978, as Verdi's Macbeth. He sang with Riccardo Muti for the first time in 1970, and over the years became an adherent of Muti's insistence on singing come scritto, without singer-interpolated high notes, believing that this focuses attention on the music and drama rather than the singer.
His RIGOLETTO on Philips captures one of his major roles quite well, and among his many Tosti recordings on Nuova Era, 'Romanze su Testi Italiani' is one of the strongest."
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com