V1620. BIDÚ SAYÃO, w.Reiner, St Leger, Whiteman, Voorhees & Barlow Cond.: Songs by Pergolesi, Martini, Arditi, Traetta, Ponce, Crist, Fauré, Grieg, Dvorák, Scott, Young, Niles, Watts, Coward, etc.; Arias from Barbiere, Semiramide, Carmen, Manon & La Traviata. Cembal dAmour 145, Broadcast Performances, 1942-53. - 798167997935
Sayão's technical mastery appeared not to include a well-knit trill, but superb phrasing, splendid diction, acting ability and a svelte figure made her a compelling artist both on stage and on the recital platform....What further eulogies can be written about this charming, mid-century songbird? A Jean de Reszke pupil and the worthy successor to the delicious Lucrezia Bori at the Met, she enjoyed a long career in the lighter French repertoire and is remembered with deep affection by all who had the good fortune to hear her in her prime.
- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, May / June, 2011
One of the most important elements that made Bidú Sayão such a unique artist among other singers and frankly among most instrumentalists was that she was a musician first
.In 1923, Teodorini introduced Bidú to her former professor, Jean de Reszke, who concentrated on teaching her the French opera repertoire. After de Reszkes death in 1925 Sayão continued her studies with Cotognis own disciple, Luigi Ricci (1893-1981), who worked with great opera composers such as Giordano, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, and Respighi, as well as coaching celebrated singers such as Ezio Pinza, Tito Gobbi, Benjamino Gigli and Fyodor Chaliapin
.What makes her so unique even among the greats is that she found a way to combine, in perfect harmony, two naturally contradicting qualities rarely found in one artist: technical perfection and passion in abundance.
- Mordecai Shehori, CLASSICAL RECORDINGS QUARTERLY, Winter, 2010
"Bidú Sayão had a voice that could make you forget Kathleen Battle. This Brazilian soubrette of the 1940s was as vocally lusterous and far more versatile, taking on heavier roles such as LA TRAVIATA and even an aria from MADAMA BUTTERFLY with a gracious sense of style, passionate sense of character, well-placed high notes and an endearingly fallible coloratura technique. She's most at home in NOZZE arias from several different characters, but the sheer force of her personality carries her through the heavier material."
- David Patrick Stearns
Sayão herself has said that she disliked recording multiple takes (If you don't get it right the first time, it only gets worse and worse"), and she is proud to relate that her famed Columbia recording of the Bachiana Brasileira #5 by Villa-Lobos was not even the first take, but the first studio run-through, intended only as a check of audio levels! The explanation for Sayão's confidence is simple: her vocal training took place at a time when the 19th-century values of technical perfection were still in effect. The mechanics of tone production solidly in place, Sayão was free to give full reign to her formidable dramatic imagination. To hear her partnered with Jussi Björling in the Act IV duet from ROMÉO ET JULIETTE is a special treat - two virtuosos who exploit a seemingly endless variety of vocal colors, each more beautiful than the last. Sayão conveys an almost unsettling vulnerability in the more poignant selections included here. In particular, her account of Manon's Adieu, notre petite table gives the impression that she will dissolve in tears at any moment, and yet the tone remains steady and supported to the end. This freedom to spontaneously explore shading, dynamics, and phrasing, without fear of technical impediments, is the hallmark of Sayão's art. It is the reason why re-takes were unnecessary: Sayão was (almost) always perfect.
- Ned Ludd