OP0107. DON CARLOS, Live Performance, 9 June, 1967, w.de Fabritiis Cond. Teatro Colón Ensemble; Gwyenth Jones, Charles Craig, Gabriel Bacquier, Fiorenza Cossotto, Jerome Hines, William Wildermann, etc.; Aïda – Excerpts, Live Performance, 27 Jan., 1968, w.Edward Downes Cond. Royal Opera House Ensemble; Jones, Vickers, Dourian, Shaw & Joseph Rouleau. (Croatia) 3-Myto 034.287. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 608974502874
"Dame Gwyneth Jones has achieved remarkable success throughout her vocal career. Best known for her performances of Turandot and the role of Brunnhilde, she has brought an attractive stage presence, total musicianship, a highly controlled voice, and thorough emotional and dramatic involvement to all of her appearances.
Gwyneth Jones was born in Pontnewynydd, Wales; her professional debut, as a mezzo-soprano, was the role of Annina in DER ROSENKAVALIER with the Zurich Opera in 1962. Shortly afterwards, she noticed her voice moving upward, which allowed her to sing the role of Amelia in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. She was also heard singing Lady Macbeth for the Welsh National Opera and the Royal Opera, and heard filling in for Leontyne Price and Regine Crespin at Covent Garden. After performing roles such as Santuzza, Desdemona, Donna Anna, Aida, and Tosca, she made appearances at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, and at principal opera houses in Berlin, Paris, Hamburg, and Rome. Shortly after Jones made her 1966 American (New York) debut as the title role in Cherubini's MEDEA, she married Till Haberfeld, a director, with whom she had one child. She achieved American success with her performance of Fidelio with the San Francisco Opera and for her Metropolitan Opera debut as Sieglinde in DIE WALKURE on 26 November. One of Jones' greatest achievements was doing all three Brunnhilde roles in the summer of 1976 at the Bayreuth centennial RING Cycle under Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chereau. Jones entered a new phase of her career when at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she gave her first performance of Turandot, a role she had learned from her former teacher Dame Eva Turner. This feat was regarded as one of the greatest triumphs of the later portion of Jones' career, during which she became known as the world's finest interpreter of this role. She also took on the roles of Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST, the widow Begbick in MAHAGONNY, and the mother in HANSEL UND GRETEL. Jones continued the same energetic performance schedule she began early in her career well into her sixties; in 1999 she had 70 opera and concert performances planned. She was made a Dame of the British Empire, received the German Cross of Merit, and is a Kammersängerin of both the Vienna and Bavarian Operas."
- Meredith Gailey, allmusic.com
“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
“Gabriel Bacquier was a leading twentieth century baritone, especially in roles in his native French. He was noted for his sophisticated and natural acting style, his smooth, warm voice, and his remarkable endurance. His studies at the Paris Conservatoire were unusually successful: he won three first prizes in student voice competitions there. As a result he quickly obtained a regular operatic job, joining the Compagnie Lyrique in 1950. From this privately owned opera company, he moved in 1952 to join the company of La Monnaie, the main opera house in Brussels. He returned to Paris in 1955 to join the Opéra-Comique in 1956. Two years later he joined the Opéra de Paris, débuting there as Germont, Sr., in LA TRAVIATA.
He gained a reputation as a serious, reliable singer, willing and able to take both comic and serious roles, and parts ranging from supporting characters to leads. Although he had a wide range, he was especially effective in the more lyric baritone parts and was one of the leading Mozart singers of his generation, yet he was able convincingly to sing such dramatic parts as Simon Boccanegra and Boris Godunov.
He began to make appearances abroad in the 1960s, particularly in England, where he débuted as the Count in Mozart's MARRIAGE OF FIGARO in 1962 and as Riccardo in Bellini's I PURITANI in 1964. The same year he first sang at the Metropolitan in New York, where he also became a favorite performer, frequently appearing on the national Saturday broadcasts.
In his fifties, Bacquier notably improved, gaining power and expressivity in his voice. At the same time he refined his acting technique, becoming known for avoiding the stock operatic gestures meant to portray villainy, or the buffoonery used in comic roles. His characters thus had a quality of realism that made their evil, heroism, wit, or foolishness seem natural and thus more effective. This particularly showed itself in his four, differentiated portrayals in the ‘adversary’ roles of Offenbach's LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN.
In addition to his Mozart roles (especially the Count), his ‘signature rôle’ was that of Scarpia in TOSCA, which he played with suave, even charming, external manners that made his underlying evil even more frightening. He was the leading baritone for French opera and for Italian operas written originally in French, such as Rossini's GUILLAUME TELL and Meyerbeer's LES HUGUENOTS.
He was also a fine interpreter of French chanson in recital, particularly the songs of Satie, Ravel, and de Severac. In the 1990s, when he was in his seventies, he scored a notable success as the King of Clubs in the Lyons Opera's French production of Prokofiev's LOVE OF THREE ORANGES under the baton of Kent Nagano, a production also made into a highly acclaimed recording.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
"The American bass Jerome Hines had a long and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Opera singing a wide variety of roles with true consistency of voice and style. He appeared with the company for more than 40 years from 1946. An imposing figure - he was 6ft 6in tall - he had a voluminous bass to match his stature.
His charismatic presence made him ideal for the many roles demanding a big personality. It was thus hardly surprising that Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Gounod's Mephistopheles, the high priest Ramfis in AIDA, the Grand Inquisitor in DON CARLOS, Boris Godunov, and King Mark in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE were among his leading roles.
Although always faithful to the Met, Hines made many forays abroad. In 1953, he undertook Nick Shadow, with Glyndebourne, at the Edinburgh festival, in the first British performances of Stravinsky's THE RAKE'S PROGRESS. That led to engagements in leading houses in Europe and south America, and eventually to Bayreuth, where he sang Gurnemanz, King Mark and Wotan (1958-63). In 1958, he made his La Scala debut in the title part of Handel's HERCULES, and, in 1961, he first appeared at the San Carlo in Naples, in the title role of Boito's MEFISTOFELE. His Boris Godunov, at the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1962, was, by all accounts, a deeply impressive portrayal.
He was fortunate to arrive at the Met just as the opera house was in need of replacements for the great Ezio Pinza, who had decided to appear in SOUTH PACIFIC. Unlike his distinguished predecessor, Hines could also sing the German and Russian repertory, in addition to Italian and French. In all, his innate musicianship stood him in good stead. Most of his discs derived from live performances. They reveal a sterling voice, a refined style, consisting of a burnished tone, a fine line and exemplary diction, although he never seems to have have been a very profound interpreter.
Hines was both a deeply religious person and a good writer. He combined these qualities in his own opera, I AM THE WAY, a work about Jesus, performed, with Hines as the protagonist, at Philadelphia in 1969. The previous year, he had published his autobiography, THIS IS MY STORY, THIS IS MY SONG, but his most lasting volume was GREAT SINGERS ON GREAT SINGING (1982), in which he made discerning comments on the art of many colleagues.
Hines' later appearances befitted his advancing years: he was Arkel, the elderly grandfather in PELLEAS ET MELISANDE (Rome, 1984), and the blind father in Mascagni's IRIS (Newark, 1989). His last stage appearance was as Sarastro, in New Orleans in 1998, when he was 77."
- Alan Blyth, THE GUARDIAN, 13 Feb., 2003