OP0067. OTELLO, Broadcast Performance, 6 & 13 Dec., 1947, w.Toscanini Cond. NBC S.O.; Ramón Vinay, Herva Nelli, Giuseppe Valdengo, Nan Merriman, Nicola Moscona, Leslie Chabay, etc., w.Ben Grauer's announcements; also features rehearsals. (England) 3-Guild 2275/77. Final Sealed Copy! - 795754227727
"This has long been regarded as Toscanini's finest contribution to the recorded repertoire and remains, probably, the most authoritatively conducted performance of the work."
- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2005
"The most famous Chilean opera singer was Ramón Vinay (1911–96), who began as a tenor and later became a baritone. He had an important international career, most famously as Otello on the brilliant recording led by Toscanini, who said, 'He is a complete artist, magnificent and unsurpassed in roles which require power and violence. At present time no other artist comes near Vinay’s interpretation of Otello'. Vinay sang some 170 performances at the Met in heroic roles in French, Italian and German, was a famous Tristan at Bayreuth, and sang Tannhäuser and roles in the Ring Cycle."
- Santiago Rodríguez, Teatro Municipal
“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
"After studying in Turin, Valdengo made his dï¿½but in 1936 at Parma as Rossini 's Figaro, then sang Sharpless at Alessandria. Though engaged at La Scala in 1939, he did not sing there (because of military service) until 1941 , when he made his debut as Baron Douphol. In 1946 he performed at the New York City Opera, then in 1947 made his San Francisco debut as Valentin, returning as Escamillo, Sharpless, Iago, Amonasro and Rigoletto. At the Metropolitan (1947-54) he sang Tonio, Marcello, Germont, Count Almaviva, Belcore, Ford, Paolo (SIMON BOCCANEGRA) and Giacomo Puccini 's Lescaut. In 1955 he sang Don Giovanni and Raimbaud (LE COMTE ORY) at Glyndebourne, and in 1961 he created the Lawyer in Renzo Rossellini's UNO SGUARDO DAL PONTE in Rome. His recordings of Iago, Amonasro and Falstaff, deriving from NBC broadcasts (1947-50) conducted by Arturo Toscanini , are vividly and firmly sung, with an even, flexible line."
- Alan Blyth
"Once again, Toscanini provided the initial boost to propel a young singer on her way. [Toscanini] simply liked her warm musical manner and the appealing smoky sound of [Merriman's] mezzo-soprano. In fact, Toscanini used Merriman in more NBC broadcasts than any American singer other than Jan Peerce. The incisive attack, throbbing vibrancy, and wide expressive range of her voice were probably heard to best advantage in the song literature. EMI recorded her in two LP discs of French and Spanish music during the mid-fifties, records that never lasted long in the commercial catalogues but soon became collectors' items among vocal connoisseurs. Presumably satisfied with a quiet yet fulfilling career, Merriman retired in 1965, her voice and artistry still in peak condition."
- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.453