OP2247. SALOME (in Italian), Live Performance, 4 Oct., 1952, w.Sanzogno Cond. RAI Ensemble, Torino; Lily Djanel, Tito Gobbi, Fiorenzo Tasso, Maria Benedetti, etc.; Tito Gobbi & Rosanna Carteri: Operatic Recital. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00301. - 0801439903012
“It was as Carmen that Miss Djanel made her début at the Liège Opera House….This Carmen let to her engagement by the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique where she remained until she fled the Nazis in 1940. Celebrated in French, Italian and German operas, Miss Djanel was regarded by Richard Strauss as one of the leading interpreters of his Salome and she sang the rôle many times under the master’s personal direction.”
- The Montréal Gazette, 25 July, 1946
“Paris-trained [Djanel] was, and a veteran of a dozen years of Carmen performances (five of them – 1935 to 1940 – at the Paris Opéra and Comique). But occupied Paris was no longer home to her, and after South American engagements, she turned to the Met, making her début in the broadcast Carmen….Djanel proved sufficiently interesting to remain the Met’s Carmen for five seasons.”
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, p.281
“Tito Gobbi was an admired operatic baritone. He originally studied at Padua University for a career in law, but he eventually gave that up in favor of pursuing voice lessons in Rome with Giulio Crimi. He made his operatic début in the town of Gubbio in 1935, as Count Rodolfo in Bellini's LA SONNAMBULA. He was hired at La Scala for the 1935-1936 season as an understudy; his first appearance there was as the Herald in Ildebrando Pizzetti's ORESEOLO.
He won the international singing competition in Vienna in 1936, and as a result he began getting improved billing; he sang the rôle of Germont in LA TRAVIATA at the Teatro Reale in Rome in 1937. In the same year he sang Lelio in Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's LE DONNE CURIOSE, and continued singing secondary rôles there through 1939. He was promoted to primary rôles and in 1941 sang Ford in Verdi's FALSTAFF during a visit by the company to Berlin in 1941. Meanwhile, in a guest appearance at Rieti he first sang the rôle of Scarpia in Puccini's TOSCA in 1940. This was to become his best-known part.
Gobbi made his La Scala début in a major rôle in 1942 as Belcore in L'ELISIR D'AMORE The performance that made him famous, however, was as Wozzeck in the first Italian performance of Alban Berg's opera in Rome in November, 1942. Fighting raged throughout Italy following the Allied invasions there in 1943, interrupting his career. After the war he began to include international appearances. He first appeared in Stockholm in 1947 as Rigoletto; in 1948 he went to Covent Garden in concerts and to San Francisco to début as Figaro in Rossini's BARBER OF SEVILLE. His London operatic début was at Covent Garden as Belcore when the La Scala Company toured there. He appeared in Chicago in 1954 as Rossini's Figaro, and débuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Scarpia, 13 January, 1956. He sang Don Giovanni in Salzburg in 1952 under von Karajan's direction.
He took up producing as well, often at Chicago, where he made regular appearances, and producing opera became an ever more important part of his career after 1965, which is when he produced a performance starring himself in the title rôle of Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA in London.
Gobbi was an excellent actor, had a high degree of musicianship and intelligence, had a flexible, rich, but not large baritone voice, and was at home in a wide variety of parts. He also appeared in 26 movies. He was the brother-in-law of another eminent singer, Boris Christoff. Gobbi retired from the operatic stage in 1979. He published an autobiography (TITO GOBBI: MY LIFE, 1979) and TITO GOBBI AND HIS WORLD OF ITALIAN OPERA (1984). He left a significant legacy of recorded performances, mainly made in the 1950's and 1960's.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com