Il Trovatore  (Previtali;  Gencer,  Del Monaco, Barbieri, Bastianini, Guichandut)  (2-Myto 00127)
Item# OP2117
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Product Description

Il Trovatore  (Previtali;  Gencer,  Del Monaco, Barbieri, Bastianini, Guichandut)  (2-Myto 00127)
OP2117. IL TROVATORE, Live Performance, 29 May, 1957, w.Previtali Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Leyla Gencer, Mario Del Monaco, Fedora Barbieri, Ettore Bastianini, etc.; Del Monaco & Guichandut: Excerpts from Forza. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00127. - 8014399501279

CRITIC REVIEWS:

"Leyla Gencer was the greatest Turkish opera singer of the 20th century and a singing actor of formidable power and individuality. Although she came from what she herself referred to as a Muslim and oriental background, she had the good fortune, as a student in Istanbul, to study with the famous Italian dramatic soprano Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, so that when she went to Italy in 1953, she was thoroughly grounded in the traditions of Italian opera. Gencer was a very beautiful woman, with large dark eyes, a wide, generous mouth and a natural command of the stage. She made her debut as Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA at the open-air summer festival in Naples in 1953, and remained a particular favourite with the Neapolitans. Throughout her career, Gencer had a very wide repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Gluck and Mozart to Verdi, Ponchielli and Puccini. During her career she sang virtually every soprano role in Verdi's operas, but it was especially in the revival of bel-canto works by Bellini, Donizetti and Pacini that she made her mark. To some extent, Gencer shot to fame in the immediate aftermath of the end of Maria Callas' Italian career - Gencer followed Callas as Anna Bolena at La Scala, and in the role of Paolina in Donizetti's POLIUTO - the last new part Callas undertook. As Queen Elizabeth I of England, first in Donizetti's ROBERTO DEVEREUX, and then in Rossini's ELISABETTA, REGINA D'INGHILTERRA, Gencer preceded Montserrat Caballé and Beverly Sills, who later recorded the roles. Although Gencer's career was mostly in Italy, she appeared in the United States, where she made her debut in San Francisco as Lucia in 1957, returning there, as well as to Chicago and Dallas. John Ardoin described her voice in a memorable LUCREZIA BORGIA in 1974, as 'poignant, compelling' and mentioned the 'strange colours and deep pathos of her art'. In England she was heard at Glyndebourne as the Countess in FIGARO, and as Anna Bolena. At Covent Garden she was Donna Anna in Zeffirelli's 1962 production of DON GIOVANNI, then Elisabeth de Valois in DON CARLOS. Gencer's most memorable UK appearances were undoubtedly in the title role of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1969. The sparks that flew on stage in the confrontation - historically absurd but dramatically thrilling - when Gencer as Mary Stuart ripped off her glove and flung it in the face of Shirley Verrett as Elizabeth I at the words, 'Vil bastarda' will surely live in the memory of all who witnessed it. Gencer had no career whatsoever as a recording artist, but many of her broadcasts from Italian radio have now been issued on disc and are a fine memorial to her voice and dramatic ability."

- Patrick O'Connor, The Guardian, 12 May, 2008



"It was always a given that del Monaco possessed a remarkably powerful, steady voice with unsurpassed brilliance and power. He was, however, often criticized for singing with little finesse, for using his power unrelentingly. That was never true (his many live broadcast recordings give even stronger evidence of his ability to sing with light and shade). I found myself thrilling to the sheer sound of the voice and to the commitment and passion with which he sang. What will surprise many is the variety of dynamics and color that the tenor did bring to his singing. It is easy for critics to comment on the method of a singer and to forget the most important element - the sound of the voice....His diction was a model of clarity and crispness, his intonation was almost always centered, and his rhythmic pulse was extremely strong. In many cases one listens to this kind of singing and longs for the days gone by when there were singers like this....old-timers...reminisce over one of the great operatic tenor voices to be heard in the 1950s and 60s, and younger listeners discover what a great 'tenore di forza' sounds like. We have nothing like him today."

- Henry Fogel, FANFARE



"Mario del Monaco was one of the most widely recorded singers of the 1950's and 60's and divided his busy operatic career between Europe and America during those years. Sir Rudolf Bing, then manager of the Metropolitan Opera, heard Mr. del Monaco's debut as Radames in Verdi's AIDA at the San Francisco Opera in 1950 and asked the tenor to stop in New York for a guest appearance at the Met in Puccini's MANON LESCAUT on his way back to Europe. Mr. del Monaco's singing made a distinct impression and won him a long and prosperous relationship with the Met beginning the next year. At the New York company from 1951 to 1959, he sang 102 times, in 16 roles. He appeared on the Met's tour 38 times. His last performance at the Met was as Canio in Leoncavallo's PAGLIACCI in 1959. But he returned three years later to Carnegie Hall in a concert of arias and duets with Gabriella Tucci.

Indeed, when Mr. del Monaco was loved, it was for the brilliant, stentorian quality of his voice rather than for his subtlety of phrase or ability to act. And in a profession often peopled by overweight tenors, Mr. Del Monaco offered a classic profile and dark good looks that made him an attractive presence on stage.

Mario del Monaco was born in Florence in 1915 and grew up in nearby Pesaro where his father was employed in city government. His parents were both musically inclined and encouraged his singing. Although he had some lessons, he was largely self-taught. Mr. del Monaco made his professional debut in Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY in Milan in 1941. He spent the war years in the Italian Army. After the war, Mr. del Monaco's career blossomed and spread to Milan's La Scala and London's Covent Garden as well as opera houses in Rome, Naples, Barcelona, Lisbon and Stockholm. In 1946, he sang in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, moved northward to Mexico City and then on to San Francisco for his American debut. Mr. del Monaco's relationship with the Metropolitan Opera ended in 1959, reportedly by mutual consent, but he was recording until the end of the 1960's. In 1973, he joined a gathering of prominent tenors in Naples to honor Caruso's centenary and pres reports spoke of his 'personal glamour and still thrilling dynamism'.

Mr. del Monaco retired to his villa near Venice later in 1973 and turned to teaching. Mr. del Monaco and his wife, Rina Fedora, a former singer, had two sons. One of them, Giancarlo, is now a stage director in Europe's opera world."

- Bernard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 Oct., 1982



�While Ettore Bastianini's career was quite short, it was also distinguished. He was regarded as having one of the finest Verdi and verismo voices of his day, though his vocal gifts were not always matched by an equal musicianship.

Bastianini studied privately with Gaetano Vanni, and sang in the local choir. His professional solo d�but was in a concert in Siena early in 1945, and his operatic d�but was at the Ravenna opera as Colline in Puccini's LA BOH�ME later that year. He sang at the smaller houses throughout Italy and even went abroad to Cairo with a touring company, still singing the bass repertoire, including Mephistopheles in Gounod's FAUST. His La Scala d�but was in 1948 as Tir�sias in Stravinsky's OEDIPUS REX. During these years, he began to wonder if he was truly a bass, and in 1951, he made his d�but as a baritone early in 1951 at the Bologna Opera as Germont in LA TRAVIATA. However, the performance was not especially successful, and he resumed intense studies over the next few months, giving special attention to developing his upper register. When he returned to the stage that summer, he had achieved just that goal, and his high notes were now considered his vocal glory. In 1953 Bastianini performed opposite Maria Callas for the first of many times, as Enrico Asthon in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at the Teatro Comunale Florence. That same year he sang the r�le of Carlo G�rard in Giordano's ANDREA CH�NIER for the first time at the Teatro Regio di Torino. He made his Metropolitan Opera d�but as Germont on 5 December, 1953, opposite Licia Albanese as Violetta and Richard Tucker as Alfredo. The following January he sang Enrico to Lily Pons' Lucia and Jan Peerce's Edgardo at the Met. On 10 May, 1954, he made his d�but as a baritone at La Scala, in the title r�le of Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN with Renata Tebaldi as Tatyana.

In the Fall of 1954, Bastianini joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera where he sang regularly through May 1957. His r�les at the Met during this time included Amonasro, Carlo G�rard, Count di Luna, Enrico, Germont, Marcello in LA BOH�ME, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, and the title r�le in RIGOLETTO. He later returned to the Met in the Spring of 1960 to portray several r�les including Don Carlo in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO. He returned to the Met again in January 1965 where he spent most of that year singing in several of his prior r�les with the company, as well as performing Scarpia in TOSCA. His 87th and final performance at the Met was as Rodrigo on 11 December, 1965. It was also coincidentally the last performance of his career.

In 1956, he made his Chicago d�but as Riccardo in Bellini's I PURITANI. In 1962, he made his Covent Garden d�but as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. Early in 1963, he left the stage for a few months, letting it be understood that he was resting, but in fact, he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. His return performances and subsequent performances were poorly received, often with booing from the audience, as he was often hoarse, off-pitch, and under-powered. While he was deeply dismayed at this, he still did not speak of his illness; for all except family and close friends, it came as a complete surprise until after the announcement of his death. His last performance was in 1965 at the Metropolitan Opera.�

- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com



�Carlos Maria Guichandut was an Argentinian baritone, and later tenor, particularly associated with heroic roles. Born in Buenos Aires, he studied first philosophy and then singing with Alfredo Bont� Biancardi. He began his career as a baritone in 1938 singing zarzuela. He made his operatic d�but at the Teatro Col�n in 1945, in the title role of RIGOLETTO, followed by Luna in IL TROVATORE, Iago in OTELLO, and Scarpia in TOSCA. He then came to Italy, appearing at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and La Fenice in Venice, and made his d�but at La Scala in 1948, as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA.

In 1952, after further vocal studies with Fidelia Campigna, he made a second d�but in Bari, as a tenor this time, in the role of Siegmund in DIE WALK�RE. The following year, he sang the role of Giascone in MEDEA, opposite Maria Callas, at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, to great acclaim. In 1954, he sang his first Otello, a role that would quickly become one of his signanture roles. In 1955, he sang Otello and Don Jos� in CARMEN, at the Verona Arena.

He made his d�but at the Royal Opera House in London in 1958, as Radames in A�DA. He also sang at the Paris Op�ra, the Liceo in Barcelona, also appearing in Palermo and Mexico City.�

- Zillah Dorset Akron