OP0219. TOSCA, recorded 1957, w.Leinsdorf Cond. Rome Opera Ensemble; Zinka Milanov, Jussi Björling, Leonard Warren, Fernando Corena, Leonardo Monreale, etc. (Italy) 2-Great Opera Performances GOP 66.371. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy. - 8012719663713
"One of the last of a breed of thoroughbred singers, [Milanov] is mistress of an operatic grandeur that has all but vanished."
- John Ardoin, Metropolitan Opera Archives
“It was the Nile scene that did it. Never in my life have I heard a pianissimo like that, or the pure vocal control she had....[We] used to sit up in the balcony for every one of Zinka's performances and just marvel at her singing. When we came to Prague, we didn't expect to hear anything like that. Of course, I had heard wonderful Aïdas in New York — Rethberg, for instance — as a Juilliard student who went to [performances at] the Met. But Zinka's voice made such a direct connection with you. I would say the way that sound came out into the opera house and just pulsated all around you, that was electrifying.”
- Risë Stevens (on hearing Milanov's Aïda in Prague)
“Milanov came like a bolt out of heaven - the voice and the young woman, both so vibrant and exciting. We knew something great had come into [the Met’s] Italian wing. What was not obvious at the beginning was that she would have such a staying power, for she gave so much in her singing.…I was present years later on her great anniversaries and she sang at mine [the fiftieth anniversary of [my] Met début, 1963]. She was incomparable. She was like a vocal sorceress singing the OTELLO arias that night. Such a roar went up from the public, I can never forget it.”
- Giovanni Martinelli
"In the dramatic Italian roles, the greatest soprano I ever sang with was Zinka Milanov. Milanov had one of the greatest voices of this century - she had such power, such dramatic drive in her voice - and she had such pure top tones, including a pianissimo even on the high C, if she wanted."
- Alexander Kipnis
“One of the greatest singers of the twentieth century, [Björling’s] career is well documented in his legacy of recordings and in music literature….His voice serves as a model for singers all over the world."
- Richard T. Soper, NORDIC VOICES
“In the mid years of the twentieth century Jussi Björling could lay fair claim to be the world’s finest lyric tenor. His is what may be described as a central voice – instantly recognisable and, to use a perhaps overworked description, unique.”
- Stanley Henig, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Spring, 2011