OP0019. SALOME, Live Performance, 8 Feb., 1958, w.Mitropoulos Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Inge Borkh, Ramon Vinay, Blanche Thebom, Mack Harrell, etc; SALOME (beginning with Dance of the Seven Veils), Live Performance, 8 Jan., 1955, w.Mitropoulos Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Christl Goltz, Ramon Vinay, Blanche Thebom, Paul Schoffler, etc. [This is one of the most astonishing live performances of SALOME in the 1950s. Christel Goltz is even more vibrant and stunning than she is on her commercial recording with Clemens Krauss from the same time period, while Mitropoulos is a virile, passionate conductor, capturing the events of this warm, moonlit night in ancient Judea with powerful mystery and intensity. The supporting cast is excellent!]; ELEKTRA (Concert Version), Live Performance, 9 March, 1958, w.Mitropoulos Cond. NYPO; Inge Borkh, Blanche Thebom, Frances Yeend, David Lloyd, Giorgio Tozzi, etc. (France) 3-Arkadia 459. Very Long out-of-print, final copy! - 8011571459038
"In the Met broadcast of 1958, Borkh by this time had her interpretation finalized and doubtless was inspired by the dynamic conducting of Mitropoulos. The supporting cast is quite superior to the 1951 performance, particularly Blanche Thebom's Herodias and Mark Harrell's Jochanaan. This was an exciting afternoon at the Met with well-balanced mono broadcast sound. This 3-CD set also contains Borkh's NYP/Mitropoulos ELEKTRA from 1958, and another SALOME (from just before the 'Dance of the Seven Veils' to the conclusion) with Christel Goltz, Vinay and Thebom, Mitropoulos conducting, a Met broadcast of 1955. This is a fascinating Strauss set well worth owning."
- Zillah D. Akron
"Inge Borkh was one of the great heldensoprans of the 1950s and 1960s. A consummate singing-actress with a distinctive voice and a strikingly beautiful woman, Borkh made her mark on the pages of opera history as a stunning Salome and Elektra."
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2007
[Borkh] was a Teutonic Callas - hysterical, a wild beast in every sense, but a brilliant singer.
- Georg Solti, MEMOIRS, p.76
"Mitropoulos could lay claim to be the most viscerally exciting in the sense of catching [Salome's] obsessions and neuroses. The conductor was much admired by players at the Met and they gave their all in a performance that seems to sweep along in a single rush of thrilling sound, no holds barred. Christel Goltz's Judaean Princess is familiar from other performances on disc. Caught here in the theatre she is more intense. Paul Schoffler presents a firmly sung, formidable Jochanaan, his tone seemingly tireless."
- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Jan., 2006
"Soprano Christel Goltz was a discovery of conductor Karl Bohm and one of the leading dramatic sopranos of her generation who possessed a rich voice with a brilliant range and intensity. She was particularly associated with the operas of Richard Strauss, especially SALOME and ELEKTRA, and with contemporary operas. Before she became a singer, Goltz had been a dancer and was physically the antithesis of the typical operatic soprano: small, lithe, and energetic. Despite her diminutive stature, Goltz had a big voice that easily made it out to the farthest tier, and it is said that when the character Narraboth killed himself in Strauss' SALOME, that Goltz would leap over his dead body during the Dance of the Seven Veils. It was in dramatic roles such as Salome and Elektra that Goltz made her mark, and by all accounts in performance she was extremely effective at them. The only sizable studio recordings she made - SALOME with Clemens Krauss and ELEKTRA with Georg Solti - were in such roles. Early in her career, Goltz also created roles in works of Carl Orff and Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister.
Born in Dortmund, she studied in Munich with Ornelli-Leeb and with Theodor Schenk, whom she later married. After singing small roles, she made her official debut in Fuerth, as Agathe, in 1935. She sang one season in Plauen, before joining the roster of principal sopranos at the Staatsoper Dresden through the invitation of Karl Bohm in 1936. She remained at that house until 1950. She began appearing at both the Berlin State Opera and the Stadtische Oper Berlin in 1947, and at the Munich State Opera and Vienna State Opera in 1950. Beginning in 1951, she also made guest appearances in Salzburg, Milan, Rome, Brussels, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 1954. Besides SALOME and ELEKTRA, her greatest successes included the title role in JENUFA, Marie in WOZZECK, Die Farberin in DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, Leonora in FIDELIO and Elettra in IDOMENEO. She created the title roles in Carl Orff's ANTIGONE and Rolf Liebermann's PENELOPE. An intense singing-actress with a clear and powerful voice of great range, she also tackled a few Italian roles, notably Turandot."
- Ned Ludd
"In a field long dominated by Europeans, Ms. Thebom was part of the first midcentury wave of American opera singers to attain international careers. Associated with the Met from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, she was praised by critics for her warm voice, attentive phrasing and sensitive acting."
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 28 March, 2010
“Chilean tenor Ramón Vinay began his career as a baritone, later reworking his voice to the tenor range. For a decade or so, Vinay was a force to be reckoned with, a wonderful singing actor who excelled in such roles as Don José, Samson, Canio, and Otello. In the mid-late 1950s, the top notes became ever more precarious for Vinay, and he eventually returned to the baritone repertoire, and even some bass roles. Though Vinay was born in Chile, his father was French, and he studied in France. It’s not surprising then, that Vinay’s French pronunciation and grasp of the Gallic opera style are expert. And what sets Vinay’s José apart from other great exponents of [French repertoire], even legendary French artists, is the Chilean tenor’s arresting combination of a rich, vibrant, baritonal middle register with ringing high notes. It is true that, like many tenors who began as baritones, Vinay has some difficulty in scaling back his voice, particularly in the upper register.”
- Ken Meltzer, FANFARE, March / April, 2018