OP0629. IL DILUVIO UNIVERSALE (Donizetti), Live Performance, 1985, w.Latham-König Cond. Teatro Comunale Ensemble, Genova; Bonaldo Giaiotti, Yasuko Hayashi, Martine Dupuy, Ottavio Garaventa, etc. (Italy) 2-Italian Opera Rarities LO 7736/37. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy!
“Donizetti revised IL DILUVIO UNIVERSALE for performances in Genoa in 1834. For Genoa, Donizetti provided additional music, particularly cabalettas, which he may have felt to be more theatrical. This would certainly have the effect of taking the work further away from the restrictions, perceived or real, of the original ‘azione tragica-sacra’. There is also the virtue of the composer’s greater musical maturity, confidence and competence that had manifested itself in the intervening years and particularly after the widespread success of ANNA BOLENA premiered in December 1830. This work had launched his international career. The intervening period had seen the premieres of L’ELISIR D’AMORE and LUCREZIA BORGIA and the revision was followed, within a year, by MARIA STUARDA and LUCIA DI LAMERMOOR.
The music of IL DILUVIO UNIVERSALE is characteristically melodic. At the premiere in March 1830, Donizetti had the great advantage of the mighty physical presence and vocal prowess of the bass Luigi Lablache as Noah. Like Rossini’s Moses, Noah needs vocal weight and gravitas.”
- Robert J Farr, musicweb-international
"Bonaldo Giaiotti became a fixture at the Metropolitan Opera, where he sang more than 400 performances from 1960 to 1989, mainly in Italian operas. He also performed in other major houses, including the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Zurich Opera. He was a special favorite at the Arena di Verona, where he appeared for more than 30 seasons.
Oddly, Mr. Giaiotti did not make his debut at La Scala until 1986, probably because of all the time he spent in New York earlier in his career. But he did make a notable Italian debut in 1973, when he appeared in Verdi's I VESPRI SICILIANI to open the Teatro Regio in Turin in a production directed by Maria Callas.
Mr. Giaiotti performed stalwart duty at the Met at a time when both the Met and its Lincoln Center neighbor, New York City Opera, served up a cornucopia of great basses, among them Cesare Siepi, Jerome Hines, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Samuel Ramey. While Mr. Giaiotti may have been outshone by the big names of his generation, keen opera observers knew his value. In 1974, the critic Peter G. Davis, writing in THE NEW YORK TIMES, called him 'outstanding' in his two arias on an RCA recording of Halévy's LA JUIVE, numbers that 'almost every golden age bass of any consequence recorded. I can't think of many other contemporary singers in his range who possess such columnar solidity over two full octaves', Mr. Davis wrote. 'Giaiotti inflects the words with real majesty'.
No matter the assignment, Robert Lombardo, a former manager, said by email, Mr. Giaiotti stood out for his 'consistency and class', both stylistically and vocally.
Mr. Giaiotti was a basso cantante, according to the classification of vocal connoisseurs. That is, his voice was lighter and more agile than a basso profondo. Critics described his voice as resonant, firm, sonorous and rock-solid.
Rudolf Bing, the Met's imperial general manager, was returning from a vacation in the Dolomite mountains in Italy when he stopped off in Milan to discover new voices, as he regularly did. He heard Mr. Giaiotti and hired him for the 1960-61 season, slotting him to make his debut as Zaccaria in Verdi's NABUCCO on the season's opening night - the first time the Met had put on that opera. Mr. Giaiotti went on to sing 29 roles in 28 operas at the house.
Mr. Giaiotti sang into his 80s, giving one of his last performances, at the Casa Verdi, a singers' retirement home in Milan, in 2015. It was a rendition of 'Ol Man River'"
- Daniel J. Wakin, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 19 June, 2018