OP0747. LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, Live Performance, 14 March, 1970, w.Behr Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Renata Tebaldi, Sándor Kónya, Anselmo Colzani, Paul Plishka, Frederica von Stade, etc.; Madama Butterfly - Excerpts, 6 Jan., 1969 (not a broadcast), w.Schick Cond. Lorengar, Kónya, Sereni, Casei, etc. (Portugal) 2-Bella Voce 107.246. Long out-of-print, final copy! - 8712177040520
"In a way, her Minnie is the last of the Tebaldi we have known and loved....In the second-act aria, she manages the garlands of tripping phrases better than many a light-voiced soprano. Above all, one should never fail to appreciate the boon of a voice voluminous enough to fill a house of Met-sized enormity - and to fill it with timbral opulence as well....Our diva has the goods....The first-act narrative of his youth allows [Colzani] to evoke a modicum of sympathy for his wretched beginnings and Colzani takes full advantage of it, achieving a grand climax at its close. He all but dominates the exchanges with Minnie in their cabin confrontations....Destined to become one of the Met's beloved artists, the twenty-four-year old Frederica von Stade does what she can to minimize the embarassments that the composer contrived for Minnie's Indian maid...."
- Paul Jackson, START-UP AT THE NEW MET, pp.174-77
“I heard Tebaldi many times, as a standee at the old Metropolitan Opera House from the mid-1950s through the early 1960s, and I never stopped marveling at the sheer beauty of the voice, her ability to project a pianissimo throughout the auditorium so that even though the note was extraordinarily soft, it sounded as if she were standing right next to you. The plushness of tone was probably the most unique feature of her singing, and along with that an innate sense of the appropriate shape of the phrase she was singing. She was not a subtle actress, never inflecting every phrase with subtexts of meaning the way Callas could, but nor was she a disengaged singer just pouring out lovely sounds. Her acting, both physical and vocal, was sincere and convincing, and at times very powerful. Her Butterfly broke your heart every time, through the moving way she shaped the ebb and flow of the music. There was no way you could see her as a 15 year old geisha, but by the wedding scene of the first act you were a complete believer.
Above all, there was that voice. It was immediately recognizable, distinctive, unlike any other. If you tuned in to a radio broadcast without hearing an announcement, two notes would be enough to identify the richly colored, luxurious sonority of the Tebaldi sound, a sound that caressed the ear and at the same time enveloped you. For many of us it was the sound that defined what an Italian soprano should be.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
“Mr. Kónya had a powerful, dramatic voice and was most highly regarded as a Wagnerian tenor. But his broad repertory also included several of the major Verdi and Puccini rôles, as well as Edgardo in Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR and Turiddu in Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. Although his Wagner was criticized by some for embodying an Italianate sob, Mr. Kónya's admirers prized exactly that tendency toward stylistic cross-pollination. Just as he brought the emotional lyricism of Italian opera to Germanic rôles, he sang Italian rôles with the big, heroic sound more typically heard in German works.
Mr. Kónya was born in Sarkad, Hungary, on 23 Sept. 23, and studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, as well as in Milan and at the Music Academy of Detmold, in northwestern Germany. In 1951 he made his professional début as Turiddu at the Bielefeld Opera. He remained on the company's roster for three years, during which he expanded his repertory, both in grand opera and in lighter rôles.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 6 June, 2002
"[Colzani] may never have quite entered the pantheon of great Italian baritones, but Anselmo Colzani was never that far off. He also had to contend with an era in which the likes of Tito Gobbi, Ettore Bastianini and Giuseppe Taddei bestrode the world’s opera stages….He was in demand internationally too, making his Metropolitan Opera début in 1960, where he played Simon Boccanegra. There was a great deal of pressure on the new arrival, as the Met’s favourite baritone, Leonard Warren, had died weeks before. If Colzani never became the next Warren, he did become a Met regular. He sang 272 performances there over the next 16 seasons."
- James Inverne, GRAMOPHONE, June, 2006