OP1699. GUGLIELMO TELL (Rossini), Broadcast Performance, 30 Jan., 1954, w.Sanzogno Cond. RAI Ensemble, Roma; Paolo Silveri, Mario Filippeschi, Raffaele Arié, Nicola Zaccaria, Anna Maria Rovere, Angelo Mercuriali, etc. (E.U.) 2–Myto 00162. - 8014399501620
“Mario Filippeschi began singing lessons at twenty-three and continued studies for a further seven years, only making a small town début in 1937. Success was fortunately not long in arriving though somewhat serendipitous. Word of mouth led to increasingly important engagements and by the early to mid-1940s he was singing in Rome and on tour. La Scala beckoned after the War’s end and record companies paid him increasing attention – many will know him best from his NORMA with Callas. Nevertheless he was not seduced by the prospect of radically upgrading his repertoire to meet international opportunities; he deliberately kept it small but retained works that he knew suited the voice. He retired in 1961, still only in his mid-fifties, and ran an antiques shop. As Lauri Volpi wrote to him in 1978 – ‘Today you would be the King of Tenors’.”
“Paolo Silveri was an Italian baritone, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, one of the finest Verdi baritones of his time. Silveri studied first in Capestrano (L'Aquila) then in Rome with Perugini and later with Riccardo Stracciari and the bass Giulio Cirino (father of Silveri's wife Delia), making his début there as a bass in 1939. After further studies, he made new début as a baritone in 1944, as Germont in Rome. Thereafter, he rapidly sang throughout Italy, notably at the San Carlo in Naples, and La Scala in Milan, début as de Luna in 1949. He also appeared at the Royal Opera House in London, in 1946, and at the Paris Opéra, début in 1951, as Renato.
He made his Metropolitan Opera début in 1950, as Don Giovanni with Fritz Reiner conductor; he also sang Rigoletto and Posa there.
He attempted the role of Otello in 1959, but quickly reverted to baritone roles. He was especially noted for his great interpretations of Verdi operas and some other roles as Scarpia , Figaro, Guglielmo Tell and Don Govanni. He can be heard on complete recordings of NABUCCO, LA TRAVIATA, SIMON BOCCANEGRA, DON CARLO, LA GIOCONDA and TOSCA.
Silveri retired from the stage in 1968 after a last performance of RIGOLETTO in Budapest with his daughter Silvia in the role of Gilda, and taught in Rome, where he died at age 87 in the summer of 2001.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“Raphaël Arié was never as well known as his two great compatriots Nicolai Ghiaurov and Boris Christoff, but he is the third in the trinity of great Bulgarian basses. Born in Sofia he studied with the important pedagogue Christo Brambarov who guided his pupil’s career with care and caution. He won the Geneva singing competition in 1946, continuing studies in Italy with stellar figures such as Stracciari and Granforte and soon made a name for himself in Prokofiev, in BORIS and DON GIOVANNI. He performed widely in Italy and France in particular – though in 1953 he was chosen as the Commendatore for a Salzburg Festival performance under Furtwängler – even if he made Rome his base. His successes in the Italian repertoire were many, his forays into German opera (much less lieder), few.
The trajectory of his career might indicate a certain stalling – a lack of Vienna, Met, Covent Garden performances, a desire to sing in houses closer to home. But the truth is that Arié was a considerable artist whose relative lack of charismatic vocalising perhaps prevented him from reaching the topmost echelons of international houses. His Rossini immediately discloses a voice of refined imagination. It’s elegant, forwardly produced, well sustained, even of tone and lacking melodramatic flourish. It was certainly a voice with presence, lest one mistakes refinement for reluctance to engage – his Bellini is impressively characterised, fully rolled “r’s” whilst his Verdi reinforces, with the beauty of his line, his bel canto lineage. The extract from Ernani may not be the most sulphurous or incendiary but it is beautifully done.
If one measures his Boris (and by implication his Glinka) with Christoff or even Chaliapin of course, one finds him lacking in histrionic projection – but there’s no lack of commensurate sonorous directness Certainly the lurid dramas enacted by others was not Arié’s way – as one can plainly note in Boris’ Farewell scene. He triumphs rather in the lyricism of Anton Rubinstein or in the full warmth he brings to Eugene Onégin. There, one feels, he is intimately at home."
- Jonathan Woolf