OP2089. AÏDA, Live Performance, 30 Sept., 1960, w.Basile Cond. RAI Ensemble, Roma; Gabriella Tucci, Gastone Limarilli, Adriana Lazzarini, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Giuseppe Modesti, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0302. - 4035122653021
“Born in Rome, Italy, Tucci trained at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Leonardo Filoni, whom she later married, Tucci made her début at Spoleto, as Leonora in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, opposite Beniamino Gigli, in 1951. She then took part in the famous Florence 1953 revival of Cherubini's MEDEA, as Glauce, opposite Maria Callas. She made her La Scala début in 1959, as Mimi in LA BOHÈME. The following year saw her débuts at both the Royal Opera House in London, as Aïda, and at the Metropolitan Opera, as Cio-Cio-San in MADAMA BUTTERFLY. She sang at the Metropolitan Opera until 1972, other roles included Euridice, Marguerite, Leonora in both IL TROVATORE and LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Maria Boccanegra/Amelia, Violetta, Aïda, Desdemona, Alice Ford, Mimi, etc. Tucci also appeared in Vienna, Berlin, and Buenos Aires. She traveled with the La Scala Opera to Moscow and Tokyo, performances that have been documented in live recordings.
A versatile singer and an accomplished actress, Tucci was able to tackle a wide range of roles from bel canto to verismo, singing Donna Elvira in DON GIOVANNI, Elvira in I PURITANI, Gilda in RIGOLETTO, Violetta in LA TRAVIATA, and Marguerite in FAUST, as well as Maddalena in ANDREA CHÉNIER and the title role in TOSCA.”
“Gastone Limarilli was a fine lirico-spinto tenor with tremendous squillo who débuted as Canio at the Teatro Nuovo, Milano, 1959. Later, on 23 Dec., 1959, he débuted at La Scala in Pizetti’s FEDRA. These were followed by the Vienna Staatsoper, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden, Monte Carlo, Macerata, the Verona Arena and the Baths of Caracalla. His repertoire was primarily Verdi, Puccini, then Pizzetti, Alfano and Porrino.”
“Giangiacomo Guelfi [not to be confused with Carlo Guelfi, a younger baritone] studied at the Centro Lirico in Florence, as well as with legendary Italian baritone Titta Ruffo, and made his opera début in the title role of Verdi's RIGOLETTO in 1950, an exceptionally young age for such a work. He won the Spoleto Experimental Theater Prize and made his La Scala début in 1952 as The Visitor in Castro's PROSERPINA Y EL EXTRANJERO. He made his London début two years later at Drury Lane as Gérard in Giordano's ANDREA CHÉNIER. Though he drew considerable acclaim in a 1957 performance of Verdi's I DUE FOSCARI in Venice, and he was considered a rising star during the late '50s and early '60s, it was not until his 1964 performance of Verdi's MACBETH at La Scala that he was acknowledged as a full-fledged star. He made his Metropolitan début in 1970 as Scarpia. He was particularly admired during his prime for his powerful voice, but like many possessors of such voices, occasionally indulged in bellowing and, toward the end of his career, relied excessively on extra-musical vocal effects.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com