Dialogues des Carmelites  (Sanzogno;  Zeani, Pederzini, Gencer, Frazzoni, Ratti)  (2-GOP 66.366)
Item# OP1326
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Dialogues des Carmelites  (Sanzogno;  Zeani, Pederzini, Gencer, Frazzoni, Ratti)  (2-GOP 66.366)
OP1326. DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES (in Italian), Live Performance, 26 Jan., 1957 (World Premiere), w. Sanzogno Cond. La Scala Ensemble; Virginia Zeani, Gianna Pederzini, Gigliola Frazzoni, Leyla Gencer, Eugenia Ratti, etc. (Italy) 2-GOP 66.366. Long out-of-print, final copy! - 8012719663669


"In 1957, Zeani created the role of Blanche in Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES at La Scala. In contrast to her involvement with works of the bel canto composers and later operas derived from the verismo movement, Zeani was keenly interested in contemporary works. In addition to Poulenc's DIALOGUES, she participated in the world premieres of Raffaello de Banfield's ALISA and Barbara Giuranna's MAYERLING. Zeani was assigned roles in notable revivals as well. In 1965, she took the title role in a Neapolitan production of Donizetti's MARIA DI ROHAN, in 1968 portrayed Desdemona in Rossini's OTELLO at Rome and in 1970 sang Verdi's ALZIRA also at Rome. By the 1970s, Zeani began to move to such spinto roles as Aïda, Tosca, Fedora, and Magda Sorel. There, her histrionic mastery and command of style matched the expertise that had made her earlier work in the coloratura repertory so distinctive.”

- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com

“Pederzini studied in Naples with Fernando de Lucia, and made her stage début in Messina, as Preziosilla, in 1923. She sang widely in Italy, notably as Mignon and Carmen, and made her début at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as Adalgisa, in 1928, and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, in 1930. Abroad, she appeared at the Royal Opera House in London in 1931, the Opéra de Paris in 1935, the Teatro Colón in 1938, and the Berlin State Opera in 1941. She took part in the 1930s’ revivals of rare operas by Rossini and Donizetti, while singing the standard mezzo roles; Azucena, Ulrica, Amneris, Laura, but also a few dramatic soprano roles such as Santuzza and Fedora, etc. In the 1950s, she began concentrating on ‘character rôles’ such as the Countess in PIQUE DAME, Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF, Madame Flora in THE MEDIUM, and took part in the creation of LES DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES at La Scala, in 1957.”

- Hans Lick

“Leyla Gencer was the greatest Turkish opera singer of the 20th century and a singing actor of formidable power and individuality. Although she came from what she herself referred to as a ‘Muslim and oriental’ background, she had the good fortune, as a student in Istanbul, to study with the famous Italian dramatic soprano Giannina Arangi-Lombardi, so that when she went to Italy in 1953, she was thoroughly grounded in the traditions of Italian opera. Gencer was a very beautiful woman, with large dark eyes, a wide, generous mouth and a natural command of the stage. She made her début as Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA at the open-air summer festival in Naples in 1953, and remained a particular favourite with the Neapolitans. Throughout her career, Gencer had a very wide repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Gluck and Mozart to Verdi, Ponchielli and Puccini. During her career she sang virtually every soprano rôle in Verdi's operas, but it was especially in the revival of bel-canto works by Bellini, Donizetti and Pacini that she made her mark. To some extent, Gencer shot to fame in the immediate aftermath of the end of Maria Callas' Italian career - Gencer followed Callas as Anna Bolena at La Scala, and in the rôle of Paolina in Donizetti's POLIUTO - the last new part Callas undertook. As Queen Elizabeth I of England, first in Donizetti's ROBERTO DEVEREUX, and then in Rossini's ELISABETTA, REGINA D'INGHILTERRA, Gencer preceded Montserrat Caballé and Beverly Sills, who later recorded the rôles. Although Gencer's career was mostly in Italy, she appeared in the United States, where she made her début in San Francisco as Lucia in 1957, returning there, as well as to Chicago and Dallas. John Ardoin described her voice in a memorable LUCREZIA BORGIA in 1974, as ‘poignant, compelling’ and mentioned the ‘strange colours and deep pathos of her art’. In England she was heard at Glyndebourne as the Countess in FIGARO, and as Anna Bolena. At Covent Garden she was Donna Anna in Zeffirelli's 1962 production of DON GIOVANNI, then Elisabeth de Valois in DON CARLOS. Gencer's most memorable UK appearances were undoubtedly in the title rôle of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda, at the Edinburgh Festival in 1969. The sparks that flew on stage in the confrontation - historically absurd but dramatically thrilling - when Gencer as Mary Stuart ripped off her glove and flung it in the face of Shirley Verrett as Elizabeth I at the words, ‘Vil bastarda’ will surely live in the memory of all who witnessed it. Gencer had no career whatsoever as a recording artist, but many of her broadcasts from Italian radio have now been issued on disc and are a fine memorial to her voice and dramatic ability.”

- Patrick O'Connor, The Guardian, 12 May, 2008

“Gigliola Frazzoni made her début at the Teatro Comunale Bologna, as Mimi in LA BOHÈME. She quickly enjoyed considerable success at major opera houses throughout Italy - Turin, Venice, Parma, Palermo, Rome and Milan, etc. She was a regular guest at the Verona Arena from 1956 to 1972. On 26 January, 1957, she took part in the world premiere of Francis Poulenc's DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES, as Mère Marie, at La Scala in Milan. Beginning in 1954, she sang outside Italy, notably in Cairo, Munich, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Zurich, Vienna, Bordeaux, Dublin, etc.

Frazzoni was admired in dramatic roles, especially by Verdi and Puccini and some other verismo composers such as Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano. She can be heard on a complete recording of TOSCA, opposite Ferruccio Tagliavini and Giangiacomo Guelfi, also as Minnie in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST with Franco Corelli as Ramerrez and Tito Gobbi as Rance, La Scala, Milan 4 April, 1956.”

- Butinsky