OP0006. GEMMA DI VERGY (Donizetti), Live Performance, 12 Dec., 1975, Napoli, w.Gatto Cond. Teatro San Carlo;
Montserrat Caballé, Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti, Renato Bruson, Bianca Maria Casoni, etc. 2-Opera d'Oro OPD 7055. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 723721346355
“Premiered at La Scala in December, 1834 (and immediately following MARIA STUARDA), Gemma di Vergy was a hit, running 26 performances before moving all over Italy and the rest of Europe, where it held on for more than 60 years. It then dropped dead, and it was the revival in Naples in December, 1975 for Montserrat Caballé that brought it back, however briefly.
The title role is very difficult, lying in the passagio - that dangerous F-G-A range going up the staff - with some much higher outbursts….in general, those long-arched phrases and gorgeous pianissimos for which she’s famous are here to be savored. She also sang it in New York and Barcelona a couple of times before deeming it too difficult–‘the equivalent of singing three Normas’.
As the wicked if one-dimensional Count, baritone Renato Bruson is at his finest, singing with a smooth-as-silk legato, perfect round tone, and even a swell, interpolated high-A at the end of his second-act cabaletta. Tamas is tenor Giorgio Casellato Lamberti, and he sings with conviction and manly tone, making what he can of this noble if misdirected character. The rest of the cast is good enough. Conductor Armando Gatto whips the orchestra and singers into a proper frenzy in the big numbers, and elsewhere he’s considerate - almost to a fault - of Caballé. For a Donizetti completist this recording is crucial, why not add another, sometimes-very-impressive bel canto opera to your collection?”
- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
"In LA GIOCONDA, the part of Enzo was taken by Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti, who generated considerable excitement with his singing and looked and acted like a spirited young Venetian nobleman. Miss Dunn, too, was an energizing force as Laura. The brilliance of her mezzo-soprano went well with the voices of both Miss Arroyo and Mr. Casellato-Lamberti."
- Allen Hughes, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 Oct., 1975
“Giorgio Casellato-Lamberti was a member of that last generation of the ‘once inexhaustible breed; the Italian tenor’. He came to prominence in the sixties together with other young hopefuls like Ruggero Bondino, Enzo Tei, Franco Tagliavini, Beniamino Prior and Luciano Pavarotti. Mr. Lamberti’s voice has not the many subtleties and the beauty in the middle register of Carlo Bergonzi; nor did he have the stentorian overwhelming sound of Corelli and Del Monaco, but somewhere he was more representative of the breed than either one of those vocal gods. There is a red thread running through vocal history of talented Italians, trumpet voiced, who could cut through any orchestra and chorus. They didn’t have the amazing vocal beauty of Gigli or young Di Stefano but they did the heavy work in other houses than La Scala or the Met; they did the foreign tours where their sound was identified as typical Italian. After the war there appeared Annaloro, Zambruno, Turrini, Lo Forese, Gismondo and Ottolini in that mould. Of them all Lamberti was definitely the best. He could fill big barns like La Scala and the Met. At the Verona Arena he had no problem filling the open space.
The voice always sounds homogenous from bottom to brilliant top. It is slender but still strong with a lot of metal in it. It is bright and well focused. There aren’t a myriad amount of colours in it but it’s still personal and recognizable. The top can be cutting and is often glorious. Indeed one thinks of Hope-Wallace in The Gramophone once describing young Corelli as ‘a shameless top-note hunter’. So is Casellato-Lamberti now and then, holding the high B in ‘La donna è mobile’ for some ten seconds (as did Corelli). Casellato-Lamberti’s voice above the stave gets an extra gleam and ring and it is a prime example of squillo. Casellato-Lamberti’s voice is somewhat similar to the young Pavarotti; maybe a little bit less rich. Still, the differences being slight they teach us a lesson. One singer marginally better than the other, is a household word due to an American publicity genius while the other is more or less forgotten in the wide world. If Casellato-Lamberti were to sing today, he would reign supreme in Italy.”
Jan Neckers, Operanostalgia