OP2030. LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Live Performance, 20 March, 1954, w.Stiedry Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Zinka Milanov, Gino Penno, Leonard Warren, Jerome Hines, Jean Madeira, etc. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00244. - 01801439902442
"The combination of the heavy drama to which the voice must be keyed in color, and the light, soaring singing assigned to Leonora is the barrier that stands between this opera and most singers – except for such brilliant sopranos as Zinka Milanov. It was not until I learned other operas – FORZA was my first, remember – that I realized how hard the opera was."
- Rosa Ponselle, ROSA PONSELLE, AMERICAN DIVA (Mary Jane Phillips-Matz), p.11
“Milanov came like a bolt out of heaven - the voice and the young woman, both so vibrant and exciting. We knew something great had come into [the Met’s] Italian wing. What was not obvious at the beginning was that she would have such a staying power, for she gave so much in her singing.…I was present years later on her great anniversaries and she sang at mine [the fiftieth anniversary of [my] Met début, 1963]. She was incomparable. She was like a vocal sorceress singing the OTELLO arias that night. Such a roar went up from the public, I can never forget it.”
- Giovanni Martinelli
“Zinka Milanov—this voice is really the voice of our century and not surpassed by other wonderful artists. Her recording of ‘Pace, pace’ is my heart’s inspiration.…”
- Christa Ludwig
“In the early 1950s, Gino Penno became known throughout Italy as a highly competent heldentenor singing Siegfried at the Verona Arena and Lohengrin in Rome. He also partnered Maria Callas in Norma, Macbeth, Il Trovatore, and Medea, in various theatres in Italy
In 1951, his career took an international turn. He appeared at the Paris Opéra, the Liceo in Barcelona, the Monte Carlo Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Royal Opera House in London.
He was very highly thought of both for his musicianship and his reportedly enormous voice, of magnificent quality.”
"Leonard Warren emerged as the principal baritone of the Met’s Italian wing in the early 1940s and remained so until his untimely death on the Met’s stage, 4 March, 1960, at the peak of his career. His smooth, velvety, and beautiful voice was powerful and had an unusually large range in its high register. It was easily and evenly produced, whether he sang softly or roared like a lion….Warren acted his roles primarily by vocal coloring, expressivity, and his excellent diction….his singing was unusually consistent….Warren’s legacy should be of interest to all lovers of great singing."
- Kurt Moses, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Nov./Dec., 2006
"[Warren's] remarkable voice had a dramatic intensity which did not come naturally to him. As with everything else in his life, he worked at that until he got it right. Fortunately, his incomparable voice and dramatic power are still available to us on recordings of some of his most famous roles....[He] became one of the most famous and beloved operatic baritones in the world....Warren's flawless technique, seamless flow of sound, and brilliant top voice were his vocal trademarks and these qualities became the standard by which others would be measured, including me."
- Sherrill Milnes, AMERICAN ARIA, pp.76-77