OP0621. DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, Broadcast Performance, 1949, w.Fricsay Cond. RIAS Ensemble; Sari Barbaras, Rita Streich, Anton Dermota, Josef Greindl, etc. (Italy) 2-Myto 032.H076. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 8014399500760
“The famously baton-less Ferenc Fricsay was always an invigorating Mozart conductor, favouring slimmed-down forces, urgent (yet never hectic) tempi and lithe textures decades before these became the norm. This 1949 Berlin radio recording of Mozart’s harem Singspiel has many of the same virtues – including Streich and Greindl as Blonde and Osmin – as his 1954 studio version (DG, 7/55R). From the crackling overture, Fricsay’s control of pace and dramatic tension is unerring, not least in the Act 2 finale as the reunited lovers move from celebration, through suspicion to reconciliation….While Fricsay’s studio recording has far superior sound, tighter orchestral playing and a better Konstanze in Maria Stader, I’m glad to have heard this, above all for Dermota’s lyrical, impassioned Belmonte."
- Richard Wigmore, GRAMOPHONE
“Anton Dermota was one of the most musical tenors singing at his time. In Vienna, the highly-esteemed tenor was a leading representative of the lyric category. He was an outstanding figure in Austria’s musical life. It is a delight to hear his smooth line, his gleaming tone and his ‘slavic-elegiac’ vocalism. His smooth, honeyed mezza voce was marvellous. He had an imaginative way with Italian and French music. Today, he is best remembered as a Mozartian tenor…whatever he sang was superbly chiselled and presented as precious musical gems!”
- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile
“Sari Barabas was a glamorous Hungarian coloratura soprano who, despite the interruption of the Second World War when she was in her twenties, had a long and successful career in opera and operetta. She was a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich for 22 years and also sang in Vienna, London and, most memorably of all, perhaps, at Glyndebourne. For five summers during the 1950s she appeared there in three different operas, delighting audiences with her grace and beauty as well as her flexible voice.
She made her début in Budapest with the Hungarian National Opera in 1939 as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO. After the war she resumed her operatic career, leaving Budapest. She sang in Zürich and at the Vienna Volksoper, then in 1949 joined the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In 1950 Barabas made her American début in San Francisco as the Queen of Night in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE. The following year she first appeared at Covent Garden, singing Gilda, followed in 1952 by the Queen of Night. They resulted in her engagement at Glyndebourne for the 1953 season. She made her Glyndebourne début as Constanze in Mozart's DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, directed by Carl Ebert. In 1954 Barabas did not sing at Glyndebourne, but appeared with the company at the Edinburgh Festival as the Countess Adèle in Rossini's LE COMTE ORY. Directed by Ebert, designed by Oliver Messel and conducted by Vittorio Gui, with a splendid cast led by Juan Oncina in the title role, the opera was introduced to Glyndebourne in 1955, becoming one of its greatest successes. The role of Countess Adèle was in every way perfect for Barabas, whose silvery voice and coloratura skill, which coped easily with the music, together with the charm of her appearance, ensured that the character sprangto vivid life. She repeated Adèle at Glyndebourne in 1957 and 1958, having recorded the opera in 1956. Later she sang it at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, conducted by Gui, again scoring a great success. Her third role at Glyndebourne was Zerbinetta in Richard Strauss' ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, which she sang for several performances in 1957.
Meanwhile in Munich Barabas was singing the Queen of Night and Constanze, as well as Violetta in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, Isotta in Richard Strauss' DIE SCHWEIGSAME FRAU and the soprano Italian Singer in Strauss' CAPRICCIO, with her husband Franz Klarwein as the tenor Italian Singer. She also appeared in many operettas, including Lehar's DIE LUSTIGE WITWE. In 1962 she flew to New York to sing Hanna Glawari, the title role, in a concert performance of Lehar's operetta for the American Opera Society at Carnegie Hall.
In 1970 Barabas returned to London to star in a revival of THE GREAT WALTZ, a 1930s American musical about the competition between Johann Strauss I and II (father and son), which ran successfully at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She retired officially in 1973, but after the death of her husband in 1991 she occasionally played non-singing operetta roles in Munich, notably Anhilde in Kalman's DIE CZARDASFURSTIN, last appearing in 2007.”
- Elizabeth Forbes, THE GUARDIAN, 1 May, 2012