OP0395. ELEKTRA, Live Performance, 1966, New Orleans, w.Knud Andersson Cond. New Orleans Opera Ensemble;
Inge Borkh, Regina Resnik, Audrey Schuh, Benjamin Rayson, Alan Crowfoot, etc.; MACBETH – Nel dì della vittoria... Vieni, t'affretta; Or tutti sorgete; La luce langue; Vegliammo invan due notti... Una macchia - Live Performance, 1967, w.Anton Guadagno Cond. Inge Borkh. 2-VAI 1170. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 089948117025
"Inge Borkh's live New Orleans Opera performance of December 1966 is one of many performances of the opera she gave in smaller opera houses....New Orleans has had a distinguished history for the past century. U.S. premieres of Norma, I Puritani, Semiramide, Les Huguenots, Le Prophète , Lucia di Lammermoor, La Favorite and La Fille du Régiment took place in New Orleans along with Mignon, Le Cid, Esclarmonde, Hérodiade and Le Roi d'Ys. Borkh is reliably excellent, and Regina Resnik repeats her grim representation of Klytämenestra without the benefit of Decca's engineering in her maniacal laughing as she learns of Orestes' death.... Knud Anderson, who conducted the New Orleans opera from 1964-1979, holds things together but little more. Stereo sound is adequate and reasonably well-balanced. A bonus is three excerpts from Verdi's Macbeth from a New Orleans production of November 1967 in which Borkh is superb as Lady Macbeth, with Anton Guadagno conducting."
- Classical CD Review
“Regina Resnik won the Metropolitan Opera auditions and débuted with great success at the Met on 6 December, 1944, as a last-minute replacement for Zinka Milanov. The role was Leonora in Verdi’s IL TROVATORE and over the years she performed many of opera’s most important roles on its most prominent stages, including those of the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden and other European houses. Her best-known roles include Ellen Orford in Britten’s PETER GRIMES, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI and the title role in Bizet’s CARMEN. Later in her career she performed in musical theater and became a sought-after instructor and opera director. She was known for her strong dramatic skills and impeccable musicianship onstage and for her bold personality offstage. She displayed fearlessness from the beginning. Following the triumph of her first season, Resnik became a leading soprano at the Met, during which time she sang Rosalinde in this English-language production of DIE FLEDERMAUS, a delightful tour-de-force!
In 1942, she made her début at the New Opera Company of New York after being given 24 hours’ notice that she was needed to substitute. Two years later, she made a similar last-minute substitution in her début at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora, in IL TROVATORE. Each time she impressed. ‘All things considered, Miss Resnik’s début was an auspicious one’, a review of her Metropolitan début in THE NEW YORK TIMES said. ‘She has a strong, clear soprano, which, though occasionally marred by a tremolo, is both agile enough for the florid passages allotted to Leonora and forceful enough for the dramatic ones’.
Ms. Resnik became a much-admired soprano and toured widely through the mid-1950s, when she and others began to notice that her voice was darkening. A friend, the baritone Giuseppe Danise, helped persuade her to change, telling her he believed she had always been a mezzo. ‘It was the biggest gamble of my life, when I decided over two tumultuous years that perhaps I was not a soprano after all’, she told The Times in 1967. ‘There were many opinions: I was a soprano with low notes, or mezzo with high notes’. The gamble paid off, she said, and it ultimately provided her with better roles, including some of her most notable, as Carmen, Klytämnestra in ELEKTRA, Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF and the Countess in PIQUE DAME. ‘I have really run the gamut’, she added, emphatic that she had not lost her upper register. ‘And my range is exactly the same today. Not one note higher or lower. But I was happier in the depth of my voice than in its height’.
Ms. Resnik graduated from James Monroe High School in the Bronx and studied music education at Hunter College, graduating in 1942.
‘She was a totally American original’, said F. Paul Driscoll, the editor in chief of OPERA NEWS. ‘She was always very proud of being educated in the United States and beginning her career in the United States’. Mr. Driscoll emphasized Ms. Resnik’s resilience, particularly under Rudolf Bing, the sometimes autocratic general manager of the Met, for much of her career. ‘She embraced the opportunities she was given, and whether or not Mr. Bing thought they were star parts, she made them star parts’, Mr. Driscoll said. ‘Directors loved her, conductors loved her, and the audience loved her’.”
- William Yardley, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 9 Aug., 2013