OP1316. LA VIDA BREVE (de Falla), recorded 1954, w.Halffter Cond. Barcelona Opera Ensemble; Victoria de los Angeles, Pablo Civil, Rosario Gomez, Emilio Paya, etc. (England) Somm 59. Transfers by Bryan Crimp. - 748871205925
"…it’s worth hearing de los Angeles in pristine voice. She is perhaps too genteel for the rôle, but she pours out her tangy voice unstintingly and shapes the words of her native language with unsurpassable flavor and clarity. Halffter is an intense, authoritative conductor…."
- Ralph V. Lucano, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2007
"de los Angeles’ voice is purer and more youthful [than in the 1965 remake], portraying a correspondingly greater vulnerability in her relationship with the man she worships. Her solos are sung with the utmost beauty and clarity, and she’s incomparably affecting in her second solo as she realises Paco’s treachery."
- Andrew Lamb, GRAMOPHONE, Nov., 2006
"Born Victória Gómez Cima into a humble Catalan family in Barcelona, she studied at the Barcelona Conservatory, graduating in just three years in 1941 at age 18. That year, she made her operatic debut as Mimì at the Liceu, but then resumed her musical studies. In 1945, she returned to the Liceu to make her professional debut as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. After winning first prize in the Geneva International Competition in 1947, she sang Salud in Falla's LA VIDA BREVE with the BBC in London in 1948. In 1949 she made her first appearance in the Paris Opéra as Marguerite. The following year, she debuted in Salzburg and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi, and the United States with a recital at Carnegie Hall. In March, 1951, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Marguerite, singing with the company for ten years. She made noted recordings of LA VIDA BREVE, LA BOHEME, PAGLIACCI, and MADAMA BUTTERFLY. The last three paired her with renowned tenor Jussi Björling. She also sang at La Scala in Milan from 1950 to 1956. In 1957 she sang at the Vienna State Opera. After making her debut at the Bayreuth Festival as Elisabeth in 1961, she devoted herself principally to a concert career. However, for the next twenty years, she continued to make occasional appearances in one of her favourite operatic roles, Carmen. She was among the first Spanish-born operatic singers to record the complete opera in 1958, a recording conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham using the recitatives added by Ernest Guiraud after Bizet's death. Though Carmen lay comfortably in her range, she nevertheless sang major soprano roles, best known of which were Donna Anna, Manon, Nedda, Desdemona, Cio-Cio-San, Mimi, Violetta and Mélisande. Like Montserrat Caballé, she was a true exponent of bel canto singing. De los Ángeles performed regularly in song recitals with pianists Gerald Moore and Geoffrey Parsons, occasionally appearing with other eminent singers, such as Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. On January 15 2005, Victoria de los Ángeles died of heart failure in Barcelona at age 81."
- Ned Ludd