OP2212. LA BOHEME, Live Performance, 3 Nov., 1961, w.Schick Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Victoria de los Angeles, Barry Morell, Lorenzo Testi, Heidi Krall, Fernando Corena, etc. (E.U.) 2-Myto 00288. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 0801439902886
“De los Angeles’ voice is entirely responsive to her commands. The first-act narrative holds a certain tonal opulence, especially when she accepts spring’s first kiss….How appropriate that de los Angeles should depart the broadcasts not with a resounding high note, but with an unobtrusive murmur. Restraint was always the watchword of her artistry.”
- Paul Jackson, SIGN-OFF FOR THE OLD MET, p.483
“For sheer loveliness of timbre, affecting sensitivity, elegance of line and utter ease in florid passagework, de los Angeles was hard to top. By the 1950s she was a mainstay of opera houses around the world and widely admired for her portrayals of leading lyric soprano roles, including Puccini's Mimi and Madama Butterfly, Verdi's Violetta, Massenet's Manon, Bizet's Carmen and Debussy's Mélisande. Though her sound was not enormous, she knew how to project her voice so that it carried effortlessly in the opera house. She even sang lighter Wagner roles with effectiveness and allure, including Elisabeth in TANNHÄUSER, the role of her 1961 Bayreuth Festival debut in Germany, and Eva in DIE MEISTERSINGER.
‘We are a people that sings naturally’, she said in a 1980 interview, adding, ‘When we have a sorrow, it is a wonderful sorrow; when we have a happiness, it is a wonderful happiness, it is a big happiness’."
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 16 Jan., 2005
“Barry Morell, a tenor who sang leading roles for 21 years at the Metropolitan Opera as well as at other major international houses, sang 7 leading roles in 22 performances in his first year with the Metropolitan Opera, a record that, it was claimed at the time, was matched by only two other tenors, Enrico Caruso and Edward Johnson.
Jay S. Harrison, the music critic for THE NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE at the time of Mr. Morell's début, described his voice as 'a glorious instrument - true, vibrant, splashed with silver’.
At 17 he made his stage debut singing 'Ol' Man River' at a benefit for the New York City Actors' Fund, on Broadway. That song is generally taken by a deep voice, and Mr. Morell indeed believed he was a baritone for many years. Mr. Morell eventually met Giuseppe Danise, a noted pedagogue who had married his star pupil, the soprano Bidú Sayão. 'First of all, you are not a baritone; you are a tenor’, Danise is supposed to have said. 'Now we shall see whether you can become a singer’ [and] after six years of study, Mr. Morell made his début as Pinkerton in 1955 with what was then known as the New York City Center Opera Company. Two and a half years later the Met invited him to audition, and Rudolf Bing signed him up with the company, where his début, in the same role, was in 1958. He appeared at Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Berlin, Barcelona, and many other international houses, including the Rome Opera, where his debut as Cavaradossi was received with a 15-minute ovation.
- Anne Midgette, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 8 Dec., 2003