OP2674. TURANDOT (in German), Broadcast Performance, 1956, w.Solti Cond. Köln Ensemble; Christel Goltz, Hans Hopf, Teresa Stich-Randall, Wilhelm Schirp, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 753. [Solti was chief musical director of the Munich Opera from 1947 to 1951. Stich-Randall sings a beautifully sensitive and nuanced Liu! A great performance in unusually brilliant sound!] - 7600003777539
“Soprano Christel Goltz was a discovery of conductor Karl Böhm and one of the leading dramatic sopranos of her generation who possessed a rich voice with a brilliant range and intensity. She was particularly associated with the operas of Richard Strauss, especially SALOME and ELEKTRA, and with contemporary operas. Before she became a singer, Goltz had been a dancer and was physically the antithesis of the typical operatic soprano: small, lithe, and energetic. Despite her diminutive stature, Goltz had a big voice that easily made it out to the farthest tier, and it is said that when the character Narraboth killed himself in Strauss' SALOME, that Goltz would leap over his dead body during the Dance of the Seven Veils. It was in dramatic rôles such as Salome and Elektra that Goltz made her mark, and by all accounts in performance she was extremely effective at them. The only sizable studio recordings she made -- SALOME with Clemens Krauss and ELEKTRA with Georg Solti -- were in such rôles. Early in her career, Goltz also created rôles in works of Carl Orff and Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister.
Born in Dortmund, she studied in Munich with Ornelli-Leeb and with Theodor Schenk, whom she later married. After singing small rôles, she made her official début in Fuerth, as Agathe, in 1935. She sang one season in Plauen, before joining the roster of principal sopranos at the Staatsoper Dresden through the invitation of Karl Böhm in 1936. She remained at that house until 1950. She began appearing at both the Berlin State Opera and the Stadtische Oper Berlin in 1947, and at the Munich State Opera and Vienna State Opera in 1950. Beginning in 1951, she also made guest appearances in Salzburg, Milan, Rome, Brussels, Paris, London, Buenos Aires, and sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 1954. Besides SALOME and ELEKTRA, her greatest successes included the title rôle in JENUFA, Marie in WOZZECK, Die Farberin in DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, Leonora in FIDELIO and Elettra in IDOMENEO. She created the title rôles in Carl Orff's ANTIGONE and Rolf Liebermann's PENELOPE. An intense singing-actress with a clear and powerful voice of great range, she also tackled a few Italian rôles, notably Turandot.”
- Ned Ludd
“Hans Hopf sang the title role in SIEGFRIED and Siegfried in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. He was singing both roles for the first time and naturally had put in yeoman’s work to have readied these mammoth roles for performances on the level demanded by the Bayreuth Festival. Formerly he had sung primarily the Italian repertoire, but was now beginning to concentrate on Wagner roles, which suited his robust voice very well. Hopf was an incomparable raconteur, and one was never bored in his company.”
- Birgit Nilsson, LA NILSSON, p.160
“For many of the record-buying public, their impression of German dramatic tenor Hans Hopf was formed upon viewing the wretched photograph that was displayed on the cover of his 1960 EMI recording of TANNHÄUSER. Appearing bloated and dim-witted, the tenor was sorely misrepresented by a portrait that should never have been released. While his voice had by that time grown beefier and less pliant, Hopf was too serious an artist to have been exposed to such a public relations disaster. For a truer picture, physically and aurally, turn to his Walter in EMI's live recording of Bayreuth's 1951 DIE MEISTERSINGER with Schwarzkopf, Edelmann, and Karajan. Here, before the strain of too many heroic roles took their toll, his singing was strong and highly agreeable, accomplished if somewhat short of poetic. Hopf studied with bass Paul Bender in Munich before making his début in 1936 singing Pinkerton with the Bavarian Regional Opera. Affiliations with Augsburg, Dresden, Oslo, and Berlin preceded his extended membership at the Bavarian Staatsoper beginning in 1949. In addition to his Bayreuth début, the 1950 -- 1951 season held a first appearance at Covent Garden, where Hopf sang his German-language Radames in an otherwise English-language AÏDA. He was also heard as Walter, pleasing the critics and audiences more for his sturdy singing than for his subtlety. Hopf remained with the Royal Opera through the 1952 -- 1953 season, offering his Walter all three years. At Bayreuth, Hopf worked his way to Parsifal, Tannhäuser, and Siegfried by the 1960s. In 1952, he made his Metropolitan Opera début as Walter. He continued to appear for five more years, eventually amassing a total of 34 performances in the Wagnerian repertory. At Salzburg in 1954, Hopf made his début as Max in Weber's DER FREISCHÜTZ. Although most of his career was spent in Europe, Hopf made two further appearances in American opera houses singing Herodes in both Chicago (1968) and San Francisco (1974), both times with Astrid Varnay as his consort. Although the latter production caught him rather late in the day, he was still an arresting Herod, dissolute and clearly not quite stable. In Germany, Hopf had achieved a considerable reputation as Verdi's Otello.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com
"Born on Christmas Eve 1927 in New Hartford, Connecticut, Stich-Randall studied at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford and at Columbia University in New York. She made her operatic début before she was 20, as Teresa Stich, in the 1947 world premiere of Virgil Thomson's THE MOTHER OF US ALL; the following year she created the title role in Otto Luening's EVANGELINE. She was then discovered by Arturo Toscanini, who called her ‘the find of the century’ and engaged her for a series of performances with his NBC Symphony.
In 1951 Stich-Randall won the Lausanne Competition in Switzerland and began her European career; by the next year she had made a début at the Vienna State Opera, where she would perform regularly for the two decades. (In 1963 the house conferred on her the honorary title of ‘Kammersängerin’; she was the first American to be so honored.)
Stich-Randall went on to perform, in opera and concert, at the Salzburg Festival (1952-60), La Scala, the opera houses of Genoa, Turin and Naples, and widely in germany and Switzerland. She had a long association with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where she sang every year from 1953 to 1972, notably in a cycle of Mozart operas under conductor Hans Rosbaud.
Her American career seems to have been relatively brief. She made a Lyric Opera of Chicago début in 1955 as Gilda in Verdi's RIGOLETTO; she first appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in 1961, as Fiordiligi in COSÌ FAN TUTTE and later sang Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI, remaining on the roster until 1966. She wound her career down during the 1970s and had retired from the stage entirely by 1980, but for two brief return visits to her hometown in 1982 and 1983. She did continue to teach master classes.
Her singing, by no means to every opera lover's taste, was marked by light tone and accurate pitch with minimal vibrato; she could thus be seen as a forerunner of the period-performance movement exemplified (among singers) by Emma Kirkby. One might even suggest that Stich-Randall was born about 20 years too early."
- Matthew Westphal, PLAYBILL ARTS, 23 July, 2007
“With the end of the war Solti was appointed musical director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich in 1946. In normal circumstances this prestigious post would have been an unthinkable appointment for a young and inexperienced conductor, but the leading German conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Clemens Krauss and Herbert von Karajan were prohibited from conducting pending the conclusion of denazification proceedings against them. Under Solti's direction, the company rebuilt its repertoire and began to recover its pre-war eminence. He benefited from the encouragement of the elderly Richard Strauss, in whose presence he conducted DER ROSENKAVALIER. In 1961 he became musical director of the Covent Garden Opera Company, London. During his ten-year tenure, he introduced changes that raised standards to the highest international levels. Under his musical directorship the status of the company was
recognised with the grant of the title ‘the Royal Opera’.”
-Zillah Dorset Akron