OP0113. LA BOHEME, Live Performance, 25 Dec., 1948, w. Antonicelli Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Jussi Björling, Bidú Sayão, Francesco Valentino, Mimi Benzell, Nicola Moscona, Salvatore Baccaloni, etc.; TOSCA – Excerpts, Live Performance, 21 Nov., 1959, w. Mitropoulos Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Jussi Björling & Mary Curtis-Verna. (Italy) 2-Myto 916.47.
Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy!
"Hard to believe that Björling, who had made his debut as the Bohemian poet in 1938, offers his first and only broadcast Rodolfo a decade later....His Rodolfo is long in coming and, on this 1948 Christmas afternoon broadcast, a gift worth waiting for....His initial phrase...flows as effortlessly from his throat as wine from a bottle, and though the stock may be Swedish rather than Mediterranean, the yield is full-bodied and the bouquet flavorful."
- Paul Jackson, SATURDAY AFTERNOONS AT THE OLD MET, pp.450 & 452
“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 Reszke’s death in 1925 Sayão continued her studies with Cotogni’s 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
"Frank Valentino was an American baritone (actually born Frank Valentine Dinhaupt in the Bronx) who was re-christened Francesco Valentino by an Italian impresario who thought he would have more success if he appeared to be Italian). He had a major two-decade career at the Met, one of a long line of American Verdi baritones (Tibbett, Warren, Merrill, Milnes) who made that company their main homes. We cannot pretend that Valentino had the vocal distinction of those others; the voice lacked the sheen and individual sound of importance that they all had. But he was at the very top of the second level, singing with a real presence and understanding of the idiom and an admirable vocal security. He is a real asset to the whole."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2015