OP1343. TOSCA, Live Performance, 1 July, 1957, w.Gibson Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Zinka Milanov, Franco Corelli, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Michael Langdon, etc. (England) 2-Royal Opera House Heritage ROHS005. Slipcase Edition. Long out-of-print; Final Sealed Copy! - 5024545431223
"Conducted by Alexander Gibson in 1957, [the above TOSCA] finds Milanov on wonderfully poised form – her ‘Vissi d’arte’ is exquisitely controlled, but full of passion. Franco Corelli as Cavaradossi is on powerful form and Giangiacomo Guelfi is a fine Scarpia. The smaller roles in this Covent Garden production are stylishly taken"
- James Jolly, GRAMOPHONE, Feb., 2008
…we found that Franco Corelli was the best tenor of his kind since the young del Monaco had made his Covent Garden début, also as Cavaradossi, in the autumn of 1946; that Giangiacomo Guelfi had one of the largest and most beautiful vocal organs since Titta Ruffo…; that Milanov…was still able to produce some of the most ravishing sounds that one could wish for….
- Harold Rosenthal, OPERA, Aug., 1957
"This 1957 Covent Garden TOSCA is one of the releases in the Royal Opera House Heritage Series of BBC broadcasts….Emotions are painted in broad strokes, with the singers concerned primarily with singing that gets to the audience. And if you want voices in full throttle, this performance will be enjoyable. Milanov is in glorious voice save for an occasional squally top note – every inch the Roman diva. Corelli is, well, Corelli – which means lots of heroic, squillo tone, every inch the macho, sexy guy. And he’s pretty good singing softly too. Guelfi’s huge, thick baritone is quite imposing…"
- Michael Mark, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, July/Aug., 2007
“I am just through hearing you in TOSCA via radio, and I must tell you that you thrilled me to the bones! Such a beautiful, healthy, warm voice, plus a magnificent artistic temperament, which also shows in your superb recitatives — all so very spontaneous! The mark of a real artist! I thank you for it all and God bless you!”
- Amelita Galli-Curci (to Milanov)
"In his first Cavaradossi, [Corelli] was outrageously self-indulgent in holding on to high notes seemingly forever, but who cared with such a thrilling tenor to be heard? By chance or design, beside him was Guelfi’s equally large-scale Scarpia….he seems to me one of the most dangerous, lascivious Scarpias in my experience, and his articulation of the text is memorable….[Milanov's] voice retained most of its grandeur, and her Puccinian style was unimpaired – her famed pianissimi are everywhere in evidence, and she delivers a gloriously phrased ‘Vissi d’arte’ with generosity of tone and great feeling."
- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Dec., 2006