OP1358. L’AMORE DEI TRE RE, recorded 3 Sept., 1950, Milano, w.Basile Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Clara Petrella, Amedeo Berdini, Sesto Bruscantini, Renato Capecchi, Aldo Bertocci, etc.; SUOR ANGELICA, recorded 11 Sept., 1950, Milano, w.Previtali Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Rosanna Carteri, Miti Trucatto Pace, etc. (Austria) 2-Preiser 20008. Final copy! - 717281200080
“Clara Petrella was an Italian operatic soprano, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, an outstanding singing-actress nicknamed the ’Duse of Singers’. She studied first with her sister Micaela, and later with Giannina Russ. She made her début in Alessandria, as Liù, in 1939. She quickly sang throughout Italy, making herLa Scala début in 1947, as Giorgetta in IL TABARRO, she sang there regularly until 1962. She was particularly admired in the verismo repertory and contemporary works. She created many roles in opera by Lodovico Rocca, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, and Renzo Rossellini.
Petrella had a beautiful spinto voice, combined with an explosive dramatic temperament, thus she was compared to the great Italian actress Eleonora Duse. In the early 1950s, she made several recordings with Cetra, notably MANON LESCAUT, MADAMA BUTTERFLY, IL TABARRO, L'AMORE DEI TRE RE, ZAZÀ, and for Decca she recorded PAGLIACCI. She also appeared on Italian television productions of MANON LESCAUT and IL TABARRO, in 1956.”
- Ned Ludd
“Amedeo Berdini, possessor of a voice of real weight, coupled with a warm timbre, was a true lirico spinto, whose mentor, Gigli, opened the way to what seemed destined to be a great career. This tragically was cut short by his early death at the age of 44. Arias from Pietri’s Maristella, Catalani’s Loreley, Gomes’ Salvator Rosa and Lo Schiavo, and a passionate Madama Butterfly love duet with Pina Malgarini will impress by their commitment and highly-compelling interpretations.”
- Alan Bilgora, A NEW GOLDEN AGE OF FORGOTTEN TENORS
“Though not possessing the vocal opulence associated with other star baritones of his era, Renato Capecchi was no vocal underachiever, and his feel for the Italian language and searching musical intellect made him one of the most valued singers of his time. His recorded performance of RIGOLETTO…stands with the best for its mastery of the rôle's subtleties and dramatic truth. Likewise, as Rossini's Figaro, he captured both the quicksilver and pragmatic sides of that buoyant character. Capecchi's repertory was huge, encompassing hundreds of rôles; as the years passed, he increasingly concentrated on the buffo parts, and eventually undertook directorial assignments, allowing him to share his theatrical fluency with other singers.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com
“There used to be a saying in Italy: ‘We gave the rest of the world Tito Gobbi, but we kept Giuseppe Taddei for ourselves’. Whatever the respective merits of these two baritones who dominated the scene in the early postwar period, Taddei was undoubtedly a superb artist and, in fact, possessed the superior voice. It was voluminous, richly mellifluous and admirably flexible. He handled it with immense intelligence and he kept his vocal faculties intact over a career spanning 50 years. Taddei’s repertory was vast — more than 100 rôles. Having made his rôle début as Falstaff in the late 1940s, he was still singing the rôle under Karajan in Salzburg more than three decades later and at his belated Metropolitan Opera début in 1985. His warm, rounded tone and subtle underlining of notes and text made him an ideal Falstaff, a portrayal that, fortunately, has been preserved on records and video. Few Italian baritones have exhibited the exceptional versatility that was Taddei’s hallmark. Apart from the accomplishments of his singing, he was a stage being through and through, able with a gesture or facial expression to create character and mood. The longevity of his career is evidence enough of the solidity of his technique. Taddei died at his home in Rome, 2 June, 2010.”
- THE SUNDAY TIMES, 5 June, 2010
“Rosanna Carteri was born in Verona but was raised in Padua. She studied with Cusinati and started singing in concert at the age of twelve. She won a RAI singing contest in 1948 which led to her operatic début at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome as Elsa in LOHENGRIN in 1949, aged only 19. She made her La Scala début in 1951. Other débuts were at the Salzburg Festival as Desdemona in 1952 under the direction of Wilhelm Furtwängler, San Francisco as Mimi in 1954, the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Marguerite in FAUST in 1955, the Arena di Verona as Mimi in 1958, Covent Garden as Tosca in 1960, Opéra de Paris in 1961 as Violetta.
Carteri made a few recordings for Cetra early in her career, recorded LA TRAVIATA for RCA Victor with Cesare Valletti and Leonard Warren under the direction of Pierre Monteux. She participated in several television productions for RAI.”
-Zillah D. Akron
“During a career that lasted 45 years, the Italian bass-baritone Sesto Bruscantini acquired an enormous repertory that was notable for the range, musical and dramatic, of the roles that he sang, as well as for their number.
At first a bass, specialising in the comic roles of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti, he moved up the scale to baritone and even, for some years in the middle of his career, took on the high Verdi baritone roles. His voice was not huge, but so well projected that no strain showed, however florid or heavy the vocal line. But it was his skill in characterisation that enabled Bruscantini to sing so many roles in such different styles. He had a tremendous success at Glyndebourne in the 1950s, and at the Chicago Lyric during the 1960s, and sang at La Scala, Milan, the Rome Opera and many other Italian cities throughout his career.
He had already won a singing competition at Florence, and in 1945 studied for a year in Rome with Luigi Ricci. To pay for his studies he wrote comments in verse on topical news for a weekly paper. After making his professional début in 1946 at Civitanova as Colline in LA BOHÈME, he spent a year at the Rome Opera School, singing small roles such as the Notary in GIANNI SCHICCHI, and the First Nazarene in SALOME. He also sang in many concerts and began a fruitful relationship with Italian Radio as Sulpice in Donizetti's LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT.
Bruscantini first sang at La Scala in 1949, as Don Geronimo in Cimarosa's IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, a role that would remain in his repertory for many years. In 1950 he sang Selim in Rossini's IL TURCO IN ITALIA in Rome, with a stellar cast including Maria Callas, Cesare Valletti and Mariano Stabile. The following year he returned to La Scala for Dr Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'ELISIR D'AMORE, another role he would still be singing some 40 years later. He also sang Masetto in DON GIOVANNI. Nineteen fifty-one was the 50th anniversary of Verdi's death, and Bruscantini sang Baron Kelbar in UN GIORNO DI REGNO for Radio Italiana.
At Glyndebourne that summer of 1951 he made his début as Don Alfonso in COSÌ FAN TUTTE. Singing Fiordiligi was the Yugoslav soprano Sena Jurinac. The following year he moved to Guglielmo in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and also scored a huge success as Dandini in Rossini's LA CENERENTOLA, both of which were quite definitely baritone roles. After leaving Glyndebourne he went straight to Salzburg, where he sang the title role of Donizetti's DON PASQUALE. Later that year he sang his first Mozart Figaro in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Netherlands Opera. Early in 1953 he returned to La Scala for Leporello in DON GIOVANNI and Tadeo in Rossini's L'ITALIANA IN ALGERÌ.
Back at Glyndebourne that summer he repeated his wonderfully comic and elegant Dandini, and returned to Don Alfonso. In June he and Sena Jurinac were married in Lewes, appearing in COSÌ FAN TUTTE the same evening. They also sang together in the prologue to Strauss’ ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, with Jurinac as the Composer and Bruscantini as the Music Master, an unusual excursion into German opera – he sang Papageno in THE MAGIC FLUTE, but only in Italian. His marriage to Jurinac was at first a great success, but later they grew apart and the marriage was dissolved – with great difficulty on Bruscantini's side.
In the summer of 1954 he sang Rossini's Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at Glyndebourne, and with the company in Edinburgh took on Raimbaud in Rossini's LE COMTE ORY. Meanwhile he was appearing in Genoa, Venice, Naples, Rome, Bologna and Lisbon. At Glyndebourne in 1955 he sang both Mozart's and Rossini's Figaro, demonstrating his ability to bring a character to vibrant life. He felt that the mainspring of Rossini's Figaro was money and that of Mozart's was love; a third Figaro, in Paisiello's IL BARBIERE, which was also in his repertory, was the only one motivated, like the Beaumarchais original, by revolutionary politics. Bruscantini gained another baritone role in Malatesta in DON PASQUALE at Genoa in 1958, but early the following year reverted to Pasquale at La Scala.
In 1959 he appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Virtuosi di Roma in three 18th-century comic operas, as Uberto in Pergolesi's LA SERVA PADRONA, as Don Bucefalo in Fioravanti's LE CANTATRICI VILLANE and in the title role of IL MAESTRO DI CAPPELLA by Cimarosa, a one-man show that peopled the stage with imaginary characters and always brought the house down.
Nineteen-sixty was a milestone in Bruscantini's career. In February and March he sang the four baritone villains in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN and Marcello in LA BOHÈME at the San Carlo, Naples. Then at Glyndebourne in the summer he took on his first Verdi baritone role, Ford in FALSTAFF. He repeated Ford at Edinburgh and in Turin, then in November he made his US début in Chicago as Rossini's Figaro.
In 1962 he sang his first Posa in Verdi's DON CARLOS at Trieste. Other high baritone roles followed, and in 1965 another new Verdi role, Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, at Florence. This was followed by Giorgio Germont in LA TRAVIATA at Genoa in 1966. The elder Germont was perhaps Bruscantini's finest baritone characterisation. He sang it in Madrid, Chicago, Palermo and Parma, during the 1960s, and at Marseilles in 1971, with Renata Scotto as Violetta. The depth of feeling he brought to the role was unique in my experience, and he evoked enormous sympathy for a personage who is often taken to be unsympathetic.
Bruscantini made a very belated Covent Garden début in 1971 as Rossini's Figaro. He returned to London in 1974 as Malatesta in DON PASQUALE, which was very well received. In 1976 his fine rendering of Simon Boccanegra in the original, 1857 version of Verdi's opera was broadcast by the BBC on New Year's Day, and the following month he sang his first Falstaff with Scottish Opera in Glasgow. Though he made the fat knight a lonely, rather sad old man, he lit the performance with many sly touches of humour.
In 1977 Bruscantini made the first of three visits to the Wexford Festival, during which he directed the operas as well as singing in them. A triple bill of IL MAESTRO DI CAPPELLA, LA SERVA PADRONA and RICCI'S LA SERVA E L'USSERO was followed in 1979 by CRISPINO E LA COMARE by the Ricci brothers, and in 1981 by Verdi's UN GIORNO DI REGNO, in which Bruscantini sang Baron Kelbar, exactly 30 years after singing the role for Radio Italiana. In 1980 the 60-year-old Bruscantini made his début at the Metropolitan Opera, as Taddeo in L'ITALIANA, followed by Dr Dulcamara in L'ELISIR D'AMORE.
He continued to sing throughout the 1980s, appearing at Salzburg three years running as Don Alfonso in COSÌ FAN TUTTE. At Houston he took on Dr Bartolo in IL BARBIERE. He returned to Glyndebourne in 1985 as Don Magnifico. In 1986 he sang Iago (never one of his best roles) at Dallas in an emergency and obtained a new Rossini role at Bordeaux, Asdrubale in LA PIETRA DEL PARAGONE. In 1988 he sang Don Alfonso in Los Angeles, the four villains in Madrid. In 1989 he sang Michonnet in Rome. In 1990, also in Rome, he sang a new role, the Magistrate in WERTHER, and sang a final Don Alfonso in Macerata. He was 70.
After retiring from the opera stage, he started a school of singing in Civitanova.”
- Elizabeth Forbes, THE INDEPENDENT, 11 May, 2003