Otello   (Cleva;   Steber, Vinay, Guarrera)   (Preiser 90500)
Item# OP0961
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Product Description

Otello   (Cleva;   Steber, Vinay, Guarrera)   (Preiser 90500)
OP0961. OTELLO � Excerpts, recorded 1951, w.Cleva Cond. Metropolitan Opera Orch.; Eleanor Steber, Ram�n Vinay & Frank Guarrera; FRANK GUARRERA: Arias from Barbiere, Pagliacci, Andrea Ch�nier, Ballo & Falstaff � recorded 1950. (Austria) Preiser 90500. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 717281905008


"Steber definitely possessed the most glorious instrument of all, with its classically organized technique, impeccable management of breath support, easy agility and, above all, that phosphorescent top register�.She was a singer who possessed a rare combination of vocal radiance, technical mastery and personal charisma, and during her best years, the distinctive purity, spinning tone and easy sweetness of her soprano [which] made her the Mozart-Strauss soprano of one�s dreams."

- Peter G. Davis, OPERA NEWS, Nov., 2003

Chilean tenor Ramn 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 Jos, 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. Its not surprising then, that Vinays French pronunciation and grasp of the Gallic opera style are expert. And what sets Vinays Jos apart from other great exponents of [French repertoire], even legendary French artists, is the Chilean tenors 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

With his slender but firm voice and winning stage presence, Frank Guarrera was a fixture at the Met in a number of roles: Escamillo in CARMEN (his dbut role in 1948), Marcello in LA BOHME, Valentin in FAUST. He also essayed larger, Verdian roles with honor, if not quite the vocal opulence of contemporaries like Robert Merrill, or Leonard Warren, whom he replaced as Simon Boccanegra a few days after Mr. Warrens death onstage in 1960.

In 1948, when the 24-year-old Mr. Guarrera was participating in the Metropolitan Operas Auditions of the Air (a precursor of the current National Council Auditions), which he eventually won, Toscanini heard him on the radio singing Fords monologue from FALSTAFF and arranged for an audition. The result was Mr. Guarreras engagement at La Scala in Boitos NERONE on the 30th anniversary of Boitos death. It was the first of several performances under Toscanini; Mr. Guarrera sang Ford on the conductors legendary 1950 FALSTAFF broadcasts, still available on CD.

His final role at the Met was Gianni Schicchi, which he last sang in 1976. After his retirement from the stage, he taught at the University of Washington in Seattle for 10 years."

- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 27 Nov., 2007