OP0992. LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Live Performance, 3 Sept., 1951, w.Quadri Cond. Groot Omroepkoor Ensemble; Antonietta Stella, José Soler, Rolando Panerai, Amalia Pini, Enzo Feliciati, Melchiorre Luise, etc.; FORZA – Excerpts (in German), Broadcast Performance, 1942, w.Rother Cond. Berliner Rundfunks Ensemble; Hilde Scheppan, Helge Roswaenge, Heinrich Schlusnus & Ludwig Hofmann; Forza – Excerpts, Live Performance, 13 June, 1975, w.Edward Downes Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Gilda Cruz-Romo, Carlo Bergonzi, Robert Lloyd, etc. (Czech Republic) 3-Ponto 1037. - 8717202250370
“Seeming from time to time a serious contender for consideration with the great prima donnas of her time - Callas, Tebaldi, and Milanov - Antonietta Stella never quite pulled together all the elements of her lavish gift. An immensely attractive woman with large, deep-set eyes and a figure that would have found favor in Hollywood, she presented an appealing stage presence but was not always able to control her impulsive histrionic inclinations. Although her vocal endowment led her to an early début, her lovely spinto-weight soprano was not sufficiently technically secure and not supported consistently enough to endure.
By her mid-teens, Stella had determined she would become a professional singer and began her vocal training. After studies in her native Perugia, and later in Rome, she won first prize in the 1949 Bologna Concorso. In 1950, she made a pre-professional appearance on-stage at Spoleto's Sperimentale and followed that in 1951 with her official début at the Rome Opera singing Leonora in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO. A recording of SIMON BOCCANEGRA shortly thereafter revealed both a promising voice and some ungainly phrasing. Nonetheless, she was entrusted with the rôle of Lavinia in the world premiere of Guido Guerrini's ENEA, mounted by the Rome Opera in 1953. Italy welcomed the young soprano, despite her lack of experience. Engagements took her to many of the country's most prominent theaters, foremost among them La Scala, where she sang Desdemona in 1954 just a year after she had won good reviews in Florence for her performance in Verdi's AROLDO. Several of the lighter Wagner rôles also came her way with such parts as Elsa and Elisabeth and (less suitably) Sieglinde and Senta. The world beyond welcomed her as well: she was introduced as Aïda at Covent Garden in 1955 and at the Teatro Colón in 1956. Stella became a popular presence in several German houses and won appreciative reviews in Spain and Brazil. Stella made her Metropolitan Opera début on 13 November 13, essaying Aïda. Although she was in good voice, reviews held numerous caveats about her artistry and questions about her willingness to look past the approval of the gallery toward a deeper exploration of text and music. During four seasons, Stella sang more than 50 performances of eight different rôles, including Tosca, Butterfly (a memorable interpretation), Violetta, Elisabeth de Valois, Amelia in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA and the IL TROVATORE Leonora. Several ill-advised cancellations put an effective stop to Stella's American career. First, she exited a series of performances for Lirica Italiana in Japan. In 1957, she canceled her début with the San Francisco Opera. After the soprano presented the Metropolitan Opera with a doctor's certificate in 1960 asking for release (granted) for the company's spring tour and then showed up on the stage of La Scala during the period in question, Rudolf Bing filed breach of contract charges with the American Guild of Musical Artists. The action resulted in her suspension. Stella continued to appear in Europe, but decline was evident before she had reached the age of 40.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com
"Rolando Panerai was born in Ciampi Bisenzio, near Florence, Italy. He studied with Frazzi in Florence and Armani and Giulia Tess in Milan. Panerai made his debut as the pharaon in Rossini's MOSÈ IN EGITTO at the Teatro di San Carlo of Naples in 1947. Other important debut were as Simon Boccanegra in Bergamo and as Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY at La Scala in Milan both in 1951. He sang in many rarely performed Verdi opera such as GIOVANNA D'ARCO, LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO, AROLDO, on radio broadcast for RAI in 1951, to commemorate Verdi's 50th death anniversary. Later roles included the great Verdi baritone roles such as Rigoletto, di Luna in IL TROVATORE, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, Amonasro in AÏDA. He also enjoyed considerable success in comic roles making a specialty of such roles as Figaro in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Leporello in DON GIOVANNI, both Guglielmo and Alfonso in COSÌ FAN TUTTE, roles he often sang at both the Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg festivals. He also excelled as Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, as both Belcore and Dulcamara in L'ELISIR D'AMORE, Malatesta and the title role in DON PASQUALE. Rolando Panerai has a dark and vibrant voice, and has enjoyed a remarkably long and distinguished career singing Germont as recently as the year 2000 in a French television production of LA TRAVIATA next to Jose Cura and Eteri Gvazava, his voice in very good shape for a man of 76."
- Z. D. Akron