OP1416. LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN (in German), Broadcast Performance, 1956, w.Moralt Cond. Bayerischen Rundfunks Ensemble; Waldemar Kmentt, George London, Rita Streich, Teresa Stich-Randall, Anny Schlemm, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0196. - 4035122651966
"Born on Christmas Eve 1927 in New Hartford, Connecticut, Stich-Randall studied at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford and at Columbia University in New York. She made her operatic début before she was 20, as Teresa Stich, in the 1947 world premiere of Virgil Thomson's THE MOTHER OF US ALL; the following year she created the title role in Otto Luening's EVANGELINE. She was then discovered by Arturo Toscanini, who called her ‘the find of the century’ and engaged her for a series of performances with his NBC Symphony.
In 1951 Stich-Randall won the Lausanne Competition in Switzerland and began her European career; by the next year she had made a début at the Vienna State Opera, where she would perform regularly for the two decades. (In 1963 the house conferred on her the honorary title of ‘Kammersängerin’; she was the first American to be so honored.)
Stich-Randall went on to perform, in opera and concert, at the Salzburg Festival (1952-60), La Scala, the opera houses of Genoa, Turin and Naples, and widely in germany and Switzerland. She had a long association with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where she sang every year from 1953 to 1972, notably in a cycle of Mozart operas under conductor Hans Rosbaud.
Her American career seems to have been relatively brief. She made a Lyric Opera of Chicago début in 1955 as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO; she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1961, as Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and later sang Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI, remaining on the roster until 1966. She wound her career down during the 1970s and had retired from the stage entirely by 1980, but for two brief return visits to her hometown in 1982 and 1983. She did continue to teach master classes.
Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; she could thus be seen as a forerunner of the period-performance movement exemplified (among singers) by Emma Kirkby. One might even suggest that Stich-Randall was born about 20 years too early."
- Matthew Westphal, PLAYBILL ARTS, 23 July, 2007
“In the many performances I have appeared in, there were many wonderful colleagues who had me in raptures. There were those with magnificent voices, or great musicians, wonderful actors or great personalities. But George London had it ALL. He was as impressive on stage as he was the wonderful colleague and friend in his private life.”
- Birgit Nilsson, as quoted in Leonardo A. Ciampa’s THE TWILIGHT OF BELCANTO, p.130
“George London was a dramatic and very expressive singer. In many rôles he sang like a demonic panther with a sound of purple-black in color. London was a singer favoring the drama in a piece, varying color to suggest shifts of mood. His acting on stage was described as overwhelming. The special magnetism of this artist is documented on his great recordings. Every rôle he sang was sung with utmost expression and unbelievable commitment, truly a singing-actor!”
- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile