OP1227. MANON, Live Performance, 14 Dec., 1977, w.Giovaninetti Cond. Dallas Civic Opera Ensemble;
Jeannette Pilou, Alfredo Kraus, David Holloway, Giorgio Tozzi, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 1131. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 3830257411314
“Pilou’s instrument is a true lyric soprano, slender in circumference but capable of colors both dulcet and bracing….At its quietest, the voice is delectably limpid…at the full, which she employs sparingly, it is enhanced by an attratice metallic hue…full of illuminating musical and dramatic touches on her part.”
- Paul Jackson, START-UP AT THE NEW MET, pp.106-107
“Jeannette Pilou began her vocal training in Egypt and continued in Italy under Carla Castellani. Her made her début at Teatro Smeraldo di Milano as Violetta in LA TRAVIATA (1959). Her international career unfolded quickly. Her repertoire covered a wide range of lyric and dramatic soprano roles in Italian and French operas. In 1964 she interpreted Mimi in LA BOHÈME at the Vienna State Opera. Appearances ensued in major European and American opera houses: London, Brussels, Milan, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Hannover, Cologne, Genoa, Budapest, Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Buenos Aires. In addition, she made acclaimed appearance at the Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence, Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden and the Arena di Verona Festival. Beginning with the role of Juliette, she sang the following roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York over the years 1967-86: Susanna [LE NOZZE DI FIGARO], Mélisande [PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE], Nedda [PAGLIACCI], Micaela [CARMEN], Marguerite [FAUST] and Mimì [LA BOHÈME]. She sang the leading role in the world premiere of Renzo Rosselini’s opera LA REINE MORTE (Monte Carlo, 1973). She also interpreted Marzelline [FIDELIO], Nannetta [FALSTAFF] and the title roles in Massenet’s MANON and Puccini’s MANON LESCAUT. During the years 1969-1985, she participated regularly in GNO productions at Olympia Theater and the Athens Festival, performing acclaimed interpretations of Liù [TURANDOT], Susanna [LE NOZZE DI FIGARO], Cio-Cio-San [MADAMA BUTTERFLY], Donna Elvira [DON GIOVANNI], Desdemona [OTELLO] and Marguerite [FAUST]. In 1998 she interpreted the leading role in the Greek premiere of PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE at the Athens Concert Hall.”
- Greek National Opera
"The matter with Kraus is that he inaudibly makes tension grow before the emotional climaxes of the operas so that when they finally arrive, the audiences are unconsciously frenzied, awaiting for what is to come.
A leading lyric tenor of his generation, Alfredo Kraus parlayed his vocal and artistic gifts into one of the longest and best managed careers in recent memory. Always careful -- both in choice of roles and in the regulation of his performing schedule - not to overextend himself, he achieved a degree of consistency and longevity that kept him active professionally well into his sixties, always applauded for his youthful tone and delivery. Among his vocal assets were an admirable top extension - which included an enviable D above high C - a warm tone, and an instinctive feel for the shape of phrases, especially in French repertory. He, Carlo Bergonzi, and Nicolai Gedda were noted for their style, refinement, and musicianship in an era when, especially in Italian opera, tenors often neglected such qualities. He starred in the title role of Viladamot's 1959 film GAYARRE, a biography of the famous Spanish tenor.
While he studied music as a youngster, Kraus had no intention of becoming a professional singer, until friends and family began encouraging him to do so. In taking up vocal studies, Kraus avoided heavier repertory and focused on the bel canto 'tenore di grazia' parts that he knew were right for his voice. At the age of 28, he won first prize at the Geneva Competition, and a representative of the Cairo Opera, who was present at the auditions, offered him the role of the Duke in RIGOLETTO; he made his professional opera début at the Cairo Opera in that role in 1956. His great success there was followed by equally gratifying appearances in Venice, Turin, and Barcelona, and in 1958, he appeared in LA TRAVIATA with Maria Callas in Lisbon - the 'Lisbon TRAVIATA'. In 1959, he sang Arturo in I PURITANI for the first time, made his La Scala and Covent Garden débuts, followed by his Metropolitan Opera début in 1965 and Salzburg début in 1968. In Rome, he sang his first WERTHER, a role that, like Arturo, was to become one of his signatures.
Aside from his fine sense of the musical nuance and phrasing, his portrayal of the mentally unstable, morbid, masochistic, and manipulative character of Werther has been acclaimed as one of the most effective and insightful readings ever. During the 1980s, he began to limit the number of his performances even further (at the peak of his career, he never sang more than 50 in a year), and started to turn his attention to teaching, although even in the 1990s he still had an active performing schedule."
“Giorgio Tozzi, a distinguished bass who spent two decades with the Metropolitan Opera and also appeared on film, television and Broadway, was a distinguished professor emeritus at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he had taught since 1991. He was previously on the Juilliard School faculty [originally having studied with Rosa Raisa, Giacomo Rimini and John Daggett Howell].
Esteemed for his warm, smooth voice; skillful acting; pinpoint diction; and authoritative stage presence - he was 6 foot 2 in his prime - Mr. Tozzi sang 528 performances with the Met. He was so ubiquitous there for so long that THE NEW YORK TIMES was later moved to describe him (admiringly) as ‘inescapable’. Mr. Tozzi made his Met début as Alvise in Ponchielli’s LA GIOCONDA in 1955. Reviewing the performance, The NEW YORK POST wrote that he ‘proved to have a voice of beautiful quality’, adding: ‘It was rich in texture and expertly handled both as to characterization and technique’. His most famous performances at the Met include the title roles in Mussorgsky’s BORIS GODUNOV and Mozart’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO; Ramfis in Verdi’s AÏDA; Don Basilio in Rossini’s BARBER OF SEVILLE; Philip II in Verdi’s DON CARLO; and Hans Sachs in Wagner’s DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG. Mr. Tozzi began his vocal life as a baritone. He made his début (as George Tozzi) in 1948, singing Tarquinius in Benjamin Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA. Staged at the Ziegfeld Theater on Broadway, the production also starred Kitty Carlisle.
He originated the role of the Doctor in Samuel Barber’s VANESSA, which had its world premiere at the Met in 1958. Conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos, the production also starred Eleanor Steber and Nicolai Gedda. Mr. Tozzi’s last performance with the Met was in 1975, as Colline in Puccini’s BOHÈME.
He also sang with the San Francisco Opera, La Scala and other companies and appeared as a soloist with major symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. On film Mr. Tozzi dubbed the singing voice of the actor Rossano Brazzi in the role of Emile de Becque in SOUTH PACIFIC (1958), directed by Joshua Logan. (Mr. Tozzi had played the role himself, opposite Mary Martin, in a West Coast production of the musical the year before.) On the small screen he sang King Melchior in the 1978 television film of Gian Carlo Menotti’s AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS, also starring Teresa Stratas. On Broadway he received a Tony nomination for the role of the lonely California grape farmer Tony Esposito in the 1979 revival of Frank Loesser’s operatic musical comedy THE MOST HAPPY FELLA. (The award went to Jim Dale for BARNUM.)"
- Margalit Fox, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 2 June, 2011