OP3037. LA CENERENTOLA, recorded 1954, w.Gui Cond. Glyndebourne Festival Ensemble; Marina de Gabarain, Alda Noni, Fernanda Cadoni, Juan Oncina, Ian Wallace, Sesto Bruscantini, etc. (Germany) 2-EMI 64183, incl.86pp. Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final copy! - 077776418322
“Richard Strauss personally selected Alda Noni to sing Zerbinetta in a famous performance of his opera ARIADNE AUF NAXOS in Vienna to mark his 80th birthday in June 1944.
She was described by commentators as a soprano leggiero, a singer with a light, agile voice, possessing brilliant-sounding vowel projection, but nevertheless with a warmth to her vocal timbre that is not always to be found in other coloratura sopranos. She was also widely praised for her comic roles, playing parts such as Clorinda in Rossini’s LA CENERENTOLA with what Harold Rosenthal once described as a ‘delicious sense of humour’.
Making her début as Rosina in Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE in Ljubljana in 1937, and after a number of appearances in Yugoslavia, she joined the Vienna State Opera in 1942; her German accent was widely admired. The ARIADNE occasion came at a time when Strauss’s relations with Hitler were under severe strain, to the point where the Führer had decreed that there should be no celebration of the composer’s birthday. Wiser counsel prevailed, however, and the conductor Karl Böhm mounted a small Strauss festival that included a new production of ARIADNE that also featured the 25-year-old Irmgard Seefried. The occasion was broadcast by Austrian radio and released on disc some 20 years later by Deutsche Grammophon, leading critics to compliment Alda Noni’s ‘piquant, sparkling, wonderfully accurate Zerbinetta’; for many decades hers was regarded as the foremost interpretation of the role.
In 1946, after leaving Vienna, Alda Noni appeared as Norina with the New London Opera Company in Donizetti’s DON PASQUALE in Jay Pomeroy’s season at the Cambridge Theatre, with the baritone Mariano Stabile, a favourite with British audiences. Her performance was particularly amusing, noted Desmond Shaw-Taylor, because of ‘the suddenness of her transitions from drooping convent lily to mischievous wildcat’. By 1949 she was a member of La Scala, appearing with the company at Covent Garden the following year. She returned to Glyndebourne in 1951 to sing Despina in Mozart’s COSĚ FAN TUTTE and Blonde in DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL, giving the character ‘a spitfire sharpness’. She also made a widely-admired appearance in Glyndebourne’s first LA CENERENTOLA in 1952, which the company toured to Berlin in 1954.
Alda Noni moved to Cyprus many years ago, occasionally appearing on the judging panels of international singing competitions.”
- THE TELEGRAPH, 24 May, 2011
“Juan Oncina was a Spanish tenor, one of the leading tenore di grazia of the 1950s. He began his vocal studies in Barcelona with Mercedes Capsir, and later in Milan, with Oltrabella. He made his début in Barcelona, as des Grieux in MANON, in 1946. The same year he made his Italian début in Bologna, as Almaviva in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. He appeared in 1949, as Paolino in IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, in Paris, and in Cherubini's L'OSTERIA PORTOGHESE and Lully's ARMIDE, in Florence.
The turning point in his career came in 1952, when he made his début at the Glyndebourne Festival, where he was to appear until 1961.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com