OP0107. DON CARLOS, Live Performance, 9 June, 1967, w.de Fabritiis Cond. Teatro Colón Ensemble; Gwyenth Jones, Charles Craig, Gabriel Bacquier, Fiorenza Cossotto, Jerome Hines, William Wildermann, etc.; Aïda – Excerpts, Live Performance, 27 Jan., 1968, w.Edward Downes Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Jones, Vickers, Dourian, Shaw & Joseph Rouleau. (Croatia) 3-Myto 034.287. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 608974502874
“Dame Gwyneth Jones has achieved remarkable success throughout her vocal career. Best known for her performances of Turandot and the role of Brünnhilde, she has brought an attractive stage presence, total musicianship, a highly controlled voice, and thorough emotional and dramatic involvement to all of her appearances.
Gwyneth Jones was born in Pontnewynydd, Wale; her professional début, as a mezzo-soprano, was the role of Annina in DER ROSENKAVALIER with the Zürich Opera in 1962. Shortly afterwards, she noticed her voice moving upward, which allowed her to sing the role of Amelia in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. She was also heard singing Lady Macbeth for the Welsh National Opera and the Royal Opera, and heard filling in for Leontyne Price and Régine Crespin at Covent Garden. After performing roles such as Santuzza, Desdemona, Donna Anna, Aïda, and Tosca, she made appearances at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, and at principal opera houses in Berlin, Paris, Hamburg, and Rome. Shortly after Jones made her 1966 American (New York) début as the title role in Cherubini's MEDEA, she married Till Haberfeld, a director, with whom she had one child. She achieved American success with her performance of Fidelio with the San Francisco Opera and for her Metropolitan Opera début as Sieglinde in DIE WALKÜRE on 26 November 26. One of Jones' greatest achievements was doing all three Brünnhilde roles in the summer of 1975 at the Bayreuth centennial RING Cycle under Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau. Jones entered a phase of her career when at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she gave her first performance of Turandot, a role she had learned from her former teacher Dame Eva Turner. This feat was regarded as one of the greatest triumphs of the later portion of Jones' career, during which she became known as the world's finest interpreter of this role. She also took on the roles of Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, the widow Begbick in MAHAGONNY, and the mother in HÄNSEL UND GRETEL. Jones continued the same energetic performance schedule she began early in her career well into her sixties; in 1999 she had 70 opera and concert performances planned. She was made a Dame of the British Empire, received the German Cross of Merit, and is a Kammersängerin of both the Vienna and Bavarian Operas.”
- Meredith Gailey, allmusic.com
“While best known for the fiery, scenery-chewing Verdi roles such as Azucena, Amneris, Lady Macbeth, and Eboli, Fiorenza Cossotto was also a prominent performer of bel canto parts such as Rosina in Rossini's BARBIERE, Leonora in LA FAVORITA, and Adalgisa in NORMA. Such large and powerful mezzo voices, particularly with a secure top, are rare compared to the lyric mezzo, and from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, she was the Verdi mezzo, the successor to Simionato and the predecessor to Zajick.
Cossotto made her operatic début as Sister Matilde in the world premiere of Poulenc's THE DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES in 1957. Her international début was at the 1958 Wexford Festival as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA. Her Covent Garden début was in 1959 as Neris in Cherubini's MEDÉE, with Callas in the title rôle. A 1961 performance of the lead in LA FAVORITA at La Scala led to wider fame and she made her Chicago début in the same rôle in 1964 and as Amneris at the Met in 1968.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com
"Gabriel Bacquier was one of the major singing actors of the second half of the 20th century, an urbanely menacing Scarpia, an amusing Leporello, a superlative Verdi baritone, and excellent Mozartean….The original recital shows us the baritone in peak form….The French selections would be difficult to better today…."
- Joel Kasow, FANFARE, May/June, 2005