OP1947. DON CARLOS, Live Performance, 5 April, 1952, w.Stiedry Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Richard Tucker, Delia Rigal, Paolo Silveri, Fedora Barbieri, Jerome Hines, Hans Hotter, Lucine Amara, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0293. - 4035122652932
"...for some thirty years, until his sudden death in 1975, Tucker's vocal security, boundless energy, unceasing enthusiasm, and thorough professionalism ensured a level of popularity that necessitated comparisons to some of his greatest predecessors....Tucker sang thrillingly and delivered the goods, communicating his own joy in singing to all who would listen...."
- Marc Mandel, FANFARE, May/June, 1997
“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.”
“The American bass Jerome Hines had a long and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Opera singing a wide variety of rôles with true consistency of voice and style. He appeared with the company for more than 40 years from 1946. An imposing figure - he was 6ft 6in tall - he had a voluminous bass to match his stature.
His charismatic presence made him ideal for the many rôles demanding a big personality. It was thus hardly surprising that Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Gounod's Mephistopheles, the high priest Ramfis in AÏDA, the Grand Inquisitor in DON CARLOS, Boris Godunov, and King Mark in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE were among his leading rôles.
Although always faithful to the Met, Hines made many forays abroad. In 1953, he undertook Nick Shadow, with Glyndebourne, at the Edinburgh festival, in the first British performances of Stravinsky's THE RAKE'S PROGRESS. That led to engagements in leading houses in Europe and south America, and eventually to Bayreuth, where he sang Gurnemanz, King Mark and Wotan (1958-63). In 1958, he made his La Scala début in the title part of Handel's HERCULES, and, in 1961, he first appeared at the San Carlo in Naples, in the title rôle of Boito's MEFISTOFELE. His Boris Godunov, at the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1962, was, by all accounts, a deeply impressive portrayal.
He was fortunate to arrive at the Met just as the opera house was in need of replacements for the great Ezio Pinza, who had decided to appear in SOUTH PACIFIC. Unlike his distinguished predecessor, Hines could also sing the German and Russian repertory, in addition to Italian and French. In all, his innate musicianship stood him in good stead. Most of his discs derived from live performances. They reveal a sterling voice, a refined style, consisting of a burnished tone, a fine line and exemplary diction, although he never seems to have have been a very profound interpreter.
Hines was both a deeply religious person and a good writer. He combined these qualities in his own opera, I AM THE WAY, a work about Jesus, performed, with Hines as the protagonist, at Philadelphia in 1969. The previous year, he had published his autobiography, THIS IS MY STORY, THIS IS MY SONG, but his most lasting volume was GREAT SINGERS ON GREAT SINGING (1982), in which he made discerning comments on the art of many colleagues.
Hines' later appearances befitted his advancing years: he was Arkel, the elderly grandfather in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE (Rome, 1984), and the blind father in Mascagni's IRIS (Newark, 1989). His last stage appearance was as Sarastro, in New Orleans in 1998, when he was 77.”
- Alan Blyth, THE GUARDIAN, 13 Feb., 2003