OP2781. LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Live Performance, 26 Oct., 1961, Parma, w.Ziino Cond. Teatro Regio Ensemble;
Marcella de Osma, Flaviano Labo, Piero Cappuccilli, Fiorenza Cossotto, Ivo Vinco, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 1061. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 3830025710618
“Flaviano Labo was an Italian operatic tenor, particularly associated with heroic roles of the Italian repertory. Labo was born at Borgonovo, near Piacenza. While in the army, he came to the notice of the conductor Antonino Votto, and subsequently studied with Ettore Campogalliani in Parma, Renato Pastorino in Milan and Valentino Metti in Piacenza. He made his stage début at the Teatro Municipale in Piacenza, as Cavaradossi in TOSCA, in 1954. He quickly sang widely in Italy and various European opera houses, as well as in South America, before making his début on 29 November, 1957, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as Alvaro in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, where he sang thirteen roles in eight seasons. In 1959, he sang at the New York City Opera as Calaf in Puccini's TURANDOT (conducted by Julius Rudel) and Rodolfo in LA BOHEME. He also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, and the opera houses of Philadelphia, Houston, and New Orleans.
Other important débuts were at the Royal Opera House in London, and the Palais Garnier in Paris, both as Radames in AIDA in 1959. He first sang at La Scala in Milan, in the title role of DON CARLOS, in 1960. He appeared at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in 1967, as Gualtiero in IL PIRATA, opposite Montserrat Caballé, and was a regular guest at the Verona Arena. He also made guest appearances at the Vienna State Opera, the Zürich Opera, the Teatro Nacional Sao Carlos in Lisbon, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Labo was admired for his robust, typically Italianate voice, and his direct unaffected manner. He died in an automobile accident caused by fog in Milan at the age of 64.”
- Ned Ludd
“Though Piero Cappuccilli never achieved international stardom, he was enormously admired within the field of opera for his rich and abundant voice, fine vocal technique and exceptional breath control. In the great Italian tradition he fused words and music into elegant phrases. He focused on Italian repertory, particularly the operas of Verdi, singing 17 major rôles. Some critics found his full-voiced singing blunt and burly. And in striving for expressive restraint, he could sometimes come across as stiff. But at his best, with his handsome physique and vocal authority, he made a powerful impact onstage.
In 1960, just three years into his professional career, he was tapped by the producer Walter Legge to sing the rôle of Enrico in a recording of LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, starring Maria Callas and conducted by Tullio Serafin. That EMI work remains a classic. In the mid-1970's, Claudio Abbado chose him for the title rôles in Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA and MACBETH at La Scala. These productions led to studio recordings that remain prized by opera buffs.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 July, 2005
“While best known for the fiery, scenery-chewing Verdi roles such as Azucena, Amneris, Lady Macbeth, and Eboli, Fiorenza Cossotto was also a prominent performer of bel canto parts such as Rosina in Rossini's BARBIERE, Leonora in LA FAVORITA, and Adalgisa in NORMA. Such large and powerful mezzo voices, particularly with a secure top, are rare compared to the lyric mezzo, and from the late 1960s through the early 1980s, she was the Verdi mezzo, the successor to Simionato and the predecessor to Zajick.
Cossotto made her operatic début as Sister Matilde in the world premiere of Poulenc's THE DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES in 1957. Her international début was at the 1958 Wexford Festival as Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's ANNA BOLENA. Her Covent Garden début was in 1959 as Neris in Cherubini's MEDÉE, with Callas in the title rôle. A 1961 performance of the lead in LA FAVORITA at La Scala led to wider fame and she made her Chicago début in the same rôle in 1964 and as Amneris at the Met in 1968.”
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com