OP0552. LA DAME BLANCHE (Boieldieu), Live Performance, 28 Nov., 1964, w.Jean Fournet Cond. Radio Hilversum Ensemble; Nicolai Gedda, Erna Spoorenberg, Guus Hoekman, Frans Vroons, etc. 2-Opera d'Oro OPD 1364. Long out-of-print, Final Copy. - 723723938923
“LA DAME BLANCHE was one of the most successful operas in the world when it began life in 1825 at l’Opéra-Comique, Paris. By 1862 it had received 1,000 performances at that house alone. It premiered in London in 1826, and New York in 1827. In 1904 the Met revived it with Johanna Gadski and Franz Naval, conducted by Felix Mottl. Sadly, this genre of French opera has pretty much vanished from our international opera scene and we have lost the charms of Boieldieu and Adam, not to mention the more grandiose Meyerbeer as well."
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
"Widely admired for his sensitive musicianship, masterly tonal control and impeccable diction in a spate of European languages, Mr. Gedda possessed a lyric tenor voice that shimmered like silver but was no less warm for that. He was one of the most versatile, and professionally long-lived, tenors of his era, with many dozens of roles to his name in a career that lasted until he was well into his 70s - a good two decades past a classical singer's customary retirement age. Over a quarter-century, he sang 367 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, from his debut in the title role of Gounod's FAUST in 1957 to his final performance, as Alfredo in Verdi's LA TRAVIATA, in 1983. But the role for which Mr. Gedda was very likely most famous was Russian: Lensky, the young poet in Tchaikovsky's EUGENE ONEGIN. Reviewing Mr. Gedda in a concert performance of ONEGIN with the Boston Symphony in 1976, Richard Dyer wrote in THE BOSTON GLOBE: 'The tenor's voicing of Lensky's aria - an ideal union of responsiveness to word and musical line, a demonstration of vocal and technical mastery and varied and beautiful tone, and an expression of wise and generous human feeling - was a classic demonstration of why, for some of us at least, operatic singing is the highest achievement of human art'.
Mr. Gedda made his United States debut in 1957, singing Faust with the Pittsburgh Opera. Reviewing his Met debut, in the same role later that year, under the baton of Jean Morel, Howard Taubman wrote in THE NEW YORK TIMES: 'His carriage is tall and straight and his movement buoyant. It is credible that he will attract Marguerite. Even more impressive than his appearance is the intelligence of his singing'.
With the Met, he also sang Anatol in the world premiere of Samuel Barber's VANESSA, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos in 1958, and Kodanda in the United States premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's THE LAST SAVAGE, under Thomas Schippers, in 1964."
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 10 Feb., 2017
"Erna Spoorenberg was a Dutch soprano who was born in Yogyakarta, Java, now part of Indonesia. As a child, she studied the violin and singing and, at the age of 14, she studied under Isa Neuhaus, a singer with the Düsseldorf Opera. Spoorenberg then studied singing under Aaltje Noordewier until she was 17, whilst continuing her violin lessons under Julius Röntgen. At the conservatory, she decided to pursue singing in preference to the violin.
In 1947, she made her debut on Radio Hilversum, singing Mozart's motet EXSULTATE, JUBILATE. In 1949, she auditioned for Karl Böhm and was given a guest contract at the Vienna State Opera, soon becoming a permanent member. Returning to the Netherlands, she was eventually offered a contract with De Nederlandse Opera for 25 performances per season. Her debut on 15 September 1955 was as Violetta in LA TRAVIATA. She performed in Hamburg and Berlin and concert tours throughout Europe. In 1963 and 1965, she toured the Soviet Union, appearing at the Kirov and the Bolshoi Theatre. In 1968, she debuted in the United States.
Parallel to her opera career, she gave many recitals, often with Geza Frid, and also as a soloist. In a 1957 recording of Bach's ST MATTHEW PASSION with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, conducted by Anthon van der Horst, she was the soprano soloist. From 1970 to 1977, she taught at the Royal Academy in Brussels, and from 1971 to 1988 in the Sweelinck Academy of Music in Amsterdam. After 1978, she worked as a private teacher."
- Zillah D. Akron