OP0508. LORELEY (Catalani), Live Performance, 1953, w.Simonetto Cond. RAI Ensemble; Anna de Cavalieri, Rina Gigli, Ken Neate, Piero Guelfi & Alfredo Coletta; LORELEY - Excerpts, w. Muzio, Olivero, Frazzoni, Boninsegna, Merli, Gigli & del Monaco. (Portugal) 2-Gala 100.752, w. Brochure. Long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 8712177046270
“One of the inexplicable mysteries of music is the popularity of some operas and the neglect of others. LORELEY is a very decent opera. The libretto is well constructed, the story is interesting, and the music is lovely. Of course we have to accept Victorian conventions and Romantic-era ideas of love and honor, betrayal and remorse.
Catalani passed away at a young age from tuberculosis. Consequently, he left a small body of work, and sadly he died recognizing that his talents were not fully appreciated. LA WALLY was fairly successful and has endured on the fringes of the operatic repertoire, but LORELEY, a work of comparable merit, is remembered primarily from a few arias included in singer’s recitals. LA WALLY was given a decent studio recording by Decca with a star-studded cast that included Renata Tebaldi and Mario Del Monaco. I’m not aware of a comparable effort made on LORELEY ’s behalf, although there are currently three CD albums available of the work, all made during performance."
- David L. Kirk, FANFARE
“Anne McKnight made her official debut in 1946, as Musetta in the NBC Symphony's Concert Version of LA BOHÈME, with Licia Albanese and Jan Peerce, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Two years later, she sang in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under the Maestro. McKnight opened the 1952 Fall Season of the New York City Opera, in the title role of TOSCA, followed by the name part in AÏDA, both conducted by Tullio Serafin. In 1953, the soprano sang there again in TOSCA (now led by Julius Rudel), DON GIOVANNI (as Donna Elvira, opposite Walter Cassel), AÏDA again, DER ROSENKAVALIER (as the Marschallin), and LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (as the Contessa).
She then began a career in Italy, under the name Anna de Cavalieri, appearing at the Teatro di San Carlo (as Busoni's TURANDOT and Gluck's ALCESTE, and as Asteria in Boito's NERONE), Teatro alla Scala (Alfano's CYRANO DE BERGERAC, and as Elena in MEFISTOFELE), Rome Opera, Caracalla (LORELEY), Arena di Verona (AÏDA), and Teatro Regio (Parma).
In 1960, the soprano returned to the City Opera, as Anne McKnight, for the ‘professional’ American premiere of Dallapiccola's IL PRIGIONIERO, opposite Norman Treigle and Richard Cassilly, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. Later that season, she sang again the Marschallin with the company. She continued her international career at Rio de Janeiro (Puccini's TURANDOT and TOSCA), Piacenza, Rovigo, Brussels, Cremona (FEDORA), Toulouse (NORMA), and, in 1968, Padua (TOSCA).
McKnight died on August 29, 2012, at the age of eighty-eight, at her home in Lugano, Switzerland.”