OP1897. DON CARLOS, Live Performance, 30 April, 1969, w.Schippers Cond. RAI Ensemble Roma; Bruno Prevedi, Piero Cappuccilli, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Teresa Zylis-Gara, Fiorenza Cossotto, Dimiter Petkov, etc. (E.U.) 3–Myto MDCD 0009. - 3830257900092
“Bruno Prevedi was an Italian tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory. Prevedi studied in Mantua with Alberto Sorenisa, and in Milan with Vladimiro Badiali. He made his début as a baritone in 1958, as Tonio, but quickly retrained himself as a tenor, and made a second début in 1959, as Turiddu, again at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan.
He sang widely in Italy, and made his début at La Scala in 1962, in Pizzetti's DEBORA E JAELE. He also appeared in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, London and Buenos Aires. He sang the role of Pollione in NORMA in the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona during the winter season 1962-1963, then made his Metropolitan Opera début on 6 March, 1965 as Cavaradossi in TOSCA. During the following five seasons his roles included Alfredo, Manrico, Riccardo, Alvaro, Don Carlo, and Radamès.
Bruno Prevedi possessed an attractive spinto tenor voice with superb roundness at the top. He can be heard on a number of recordings for Decca, notably in complete performances of Verdi's NABUCCO, opposite Tito Gobbi and Elena Suliotis, in MACBETH, opposite Giuseppe Taddei and Birgit Nilsson, and MEDEA, opposite Gwyneth Jones, as well as a recital of tenor arias.”
“Though Piero Cappuccilli never achieved international stardom, he was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major rôles. Some critics found his full-voiced singing blunt and burly. And in striving for expressive restraint, he could sometimes come across as stiff. But at his best, with his handsome physique and vocal authority, he made a powerful impact onstage.
In 1960, just three years into his professional career, he was tapped by the producer Walter Legge to sing the rôle of Enrico in a recording of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, starring Maria Callas and conducted by Tullio Serafin. That EMI work remains a classic. In the mid-1970's, Claudio Abbado chose him for the title rôles in Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA and MACBETH at La Scala. These productions led to studio recordings that remain prized by opera buffs.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 July, 2005
“Nicolai Ghiaurov, the Bulgarian bass was one of the leading opera singers of his day whose warm, rich bass voice made him ideal for roles like King Philip in Verdi's DON CARLO or the title role in Moussorgsky's BORIS GODOUNOV, both of which were among his signature roles. His vocal power and striking stage presence helped gain him the kind of accolades opera usually reserves for its tenors and sopranos.
His Metropolitan Opera debut, in November 1965, as Mephistopheles in Gounod's FAUST, received rapturous reviews. ‘The man indeed is sensational’, Harold C. Schonberg wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES. ‘He not only has a remarkable voice, but he is also big in every way’. He added, ‘He has presence, the kind that Pinza and Chaliapin had, the kind that jumps over the footlights and seizes the listener in a palpable embrace’.
By then, Mr. Ghiaurov was already a star in Europe; his American debut, at the Chicago Lyric Opera, had taken place two years earlier. His Met debut would have come earlier, too, he told an interviewer in 1965, but a tenor accidentally got in the way. At a party in Milan, Rudolf Bing, the Met's general manager, made Mr. Ghiaurov an offer, which was overheard by Franco Corelli. According to Mr. Ghiaurov, Corelli ‘became very excited’ and said to Bing, ‘How dare you offer him so little? From then on, everything was ruined in that discussion’, Mr. Ghiaurov said.
As beloved as he was in New York, Mr. Ghiaurov never created a home base there of the kind he had in Europe; he sang 81 performances of 10 roles at the Met, including a gala in 1991 celebrating the 25th anniversaries his debut, Ms. Freni's and the tenor Alfredo Kraus's; he also appeared in the Met's centennial gala in 1983. His last performance there was in 1996, in RIGOLETTO.
He remained active in Europe, however. In 2001, he tried out a new role, Dosifey, the old believer, in Moussorgsky's KHOVANSHCHINA, in a new production in Zürich, having often sung Khovansky in the same opera. In December in Venice, he sang Basilio in Rossini's BARBER OF SEVILLE, the role in which he made his operatic debut in Sofia in 1955.
His remarkable vocal longevity was often attributed to his choice of roles suited to his voice and to his care in later years not to overextend himself with too many performances.
After his operatic debut, Mr. Ghiaurov's progress was rapid: Bologna in 1958, La Scala in 1959, Covent Garden in 1962. ‘It is not entirely good to move up with such speed’, he told an interviewer. ‘I do not have the long experience with the smaller roles first. Almost from the beginning it is the big roles’.”
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 3 June, 2004
“Teresa Zylis-Gara studied for nine years with Olga Olgina. In 1954 she won first prize at the Polish Young Vocalists Contest in Warsaw which led to engagements to sing on the Polish National Radio and to perform as a soloist with the Kraków Philharmonic. In 1956 she made her professional opera debut with Opera Krakowska in the title role of Stanisław Moniuszko's HALKA. She returned there the following year to portray the title role Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY.
In 1958 Zylis-Gara won 2nd prize at the Concours of Toulouse and in 1960 she won 3rd prize at the International Music Contest in Munich. The latter competition win led to her engagement at the opera house in Oberhausen and from this moment on her career was largely centered in Germany for the next decade. She continued her voice training in Germany with Dietger Jacob. She was offered a long term contract with the Dortmund Opera in 1962, singing there for the next three years.
In the mid 1960s Zylis-Gara began to become a major presence on the international stage, beginning in 1965 with her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Octavian in DER ROSENKAVALIER. She later returned to that festival in 1967 to sing Donna Elvira in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI. In 1966 she performed for the first time at the Palais Garnier in Paris which led to a contract with the Opéra National de Paris through 1969. The year 1968 proved to be a banner year for Zylis-Gara. She made her Royal Opera, London debut as Violetta in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA and sang Donna Elvira for her debuts at the Salzburg Festival in the summer, the San Francisco Opera on November 8 and her Metropolitan Opera debut on December 17.
Rudolf Bing, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, was highly impressed with Zylis-Gara's debut performance and offered her a long term contract with the company beginning in January 1970 with the role of Pamina in Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE. She remained on the Met roster for the next 14 seasons, portraying such roles as Countess Almaviva in Mozart's NOZZE, Amelia in Verdi's UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Cio-Cio-San in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Desdemona in Verdi's OTELLO, Elisabeth in Wagner's TANNHÄUSER, Elsa in his LOHENGRIN, Fiordiligi in Mozart's COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Leonora in Verdi's IL TROVATORE, Liù in Puccini's TURANDOT, Marguerite in Gounod's FAUST, Mimì in Puccini's LA BOHÈME, Octavian, Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN, Violetta, and the title roles in Cilea's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR, and Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA and TOSCA. Her final and 233rd performance at the Met was in the title role of Puccini's MANON LESCAUT on March 31, 1984 with Vasile Moldoveanu as Des Grieux, Allan Monk as Lescaut, and Nello Santi conducting.
In the 1970s Zylis-Gara continued to work as a freelance artist while the Met was her principal home. She was particularly active at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera. She sang annually at the Royal Opera, London from 1976-1980. She was also a soloist at La Scala in Milan, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.”
“While best known for the fiery, scenery-chewing Verdi roles such as Azucena, Amneris, Lady Macbeth, and Eboli, Fiorenza Cossotto was also a prominent performer of bel canto parts such as Rosina in Rossini's BARBIERE, Leonora in LA FAVORITA, and Adalgisa in NORMA. Such large and powerful mezzo voices, particularly with a secure top, are rare compared to the lyric mezzo, and from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, she was THE Verdi mezzo, the successor to Simionato and the predecessor to Zajick.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com