OP2234. MARIA GOLOVIN (Menotti), recorded 1958, w.Peter Herman Adler Cond. Franca Duval, Richard Cross, Patricia Neway, Genia Las & Herbert Handt; Charles Münch Cond. Boston S.O., w.Tossy Spivakovsky: Violin Concerto (Menotti), recorded 8 Nov., 1954. (Germany) 2-Naxos 8.111376/77. Transfers by Mark Obert-Thorn. - 747313337620
“RCA Victor faithfully recorded most of Menotti’s early and middle period works. Now Naxos is faithfully reissuing them. Golovin was one of the United States’ entries at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. Three months later it opened on Broadway. In the interim RCA recorded it in Rome with the original cast accompanied by unidentified Roman musical forces. But the opera was cooly received in Brussels and proceeded to flop on Broadway, closing after only five performances. Although it was probably recorded in stereo, RCA released it only in monaural. So few copies of the LPs were sold that it became a collector’s item….The 27-minute filler is Menotti’s only violin concerto (1954). There is more musical meat than in the opera, with some really catchy tunes and some spectacular moments of virtuoso display. There are few traces of the usual Menotti melancholy here, just a bright, fastpaced showpiece. Spivakovsky was a true master of the violin—incisive tone with lots of personality. I must also recommend his thrilling recording of the Sibelius violin concerto with Tauno Hannikaienen on Everest.”
- Charles H. Parsons, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, March/April, 2012
"Menotti’s powerful romantic opera MARIA GOLOVIN explores the issues of love and jealousy. It premièred in Brussels in 1958, transferring to Broadway toward the end of the year, but closed after only five performances. The composer himself described it as ‘his unlucky work’. Between these two dates RCA recorded the work in Rome with an outstanding cast of Menotti regulars, such as Patricia Neway, and brilliant newcomers like Richard Cross. The LP is rare and this is its first reissue in 50 years. Another rarity is Tossy Spivakovsky’s still-unequalled 1954 performance of the Violin Concerto, which is filled with memorable themes and is a superb vehicle for the solo violin."
"Patricia Neway, an opera singer who won a Tony in 1960 for her role as the Mother Abbess in the original Broadway production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, died on Jan. 24 at her home in East Corinth, Vt. She was 92.
A dramatic soprano praised for the intensity of both her voice and her acting, Ms. Neway was known as an interpreter of new work by 20th-century composers. She was also one of relatively few singers of her era to move seamlessly back and forth between the opera house and the Broadway stage. She had a long association with Gian Carlo Menotti. As Magda Sorel, the oppressed heroine of his opera THE CONSUL, in its original production, Ms. Neway drew glowing notices from critics and thundering ovations from audiences.
Ms. Neway, who with her pale skin, lush dark hair and strong features cut a striking presence on opera and recitals stages worldwide, was a principal singer with the New York City Opera from 1951 to 1966.
Her rôles with the company included Leah in the world première of THE DYBBUK, by David and Alex Tamkin, and the Mother in the world premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, as well as Marie in Alban Berg’s WOZZECK; the Governess in THE TURN OF THE SCREW, by Benjamin Britten; and Laura Gates in Mark Bucci’s TALE FOR A DEAF EAR, the story of a disintegrating marriage.
Patricia Mary Neway was born on 30 Sept., 1919, in Brooklyn and reared on Staten Island. Her father was a printer who had sung briefly in vaudeville; as a girl, Patricia studied the piano. Fittingly, given her Tony-winning Broadway rôle, she was encouraged to pursue a singing career by the mother superior of her high school. The young Ms. Neway earned a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame College of Staten Island, with a major in sciences and a minor in mathematics. She later studied voice privately and at the Mannes Music School, as it was then known. Ms. Neway made her professional opera début in 1946, singing Fiordiligi in Mozart’s COSÌ FAN TUTTE with the Chautauqua Opera. Among the other companies with which she sang was the Opéra-Comique of Paris.
But it was as Magda in THE CONSUL that she made her reputation. A three-act opera written for Broadway, THE CONSUL unfolds in a nameless European dictatorship. Magda, a dissident’s wife, tries repeatedly to secure permission for her family to leave but meets only frustration, red tape and ultimately tragedy. The opera had its world première in Philadelphia in March 1950 before moving to the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York later that month. As was widely reported, Ms. Neway’s long aria, ‘To This We’ve Come’, sung in Act 2 as Magda rages against the consul’s secretary, brought down the house nearly every night. She reprised the rôle many times around the world, including at City Opera. THE CONSUL, which won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for music, was recorded for television in 1960. The telefilm, starring Ms. Neway and long presumed lost, was rediscovered after many years and released on DVD in 2004.
Ms. Neway appeared next on Broadway in 1958, singing the rôle of the Mother in Menotti’s opera MARIA GOLOVIN. She returned two years later in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit show about the Trapp family’s flight from Nazi Europe. For her performance, which included the anthem ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’, Ms. Neway received the Tony for best featured actress in a musical.
Ms. Neway’s first marriage, to Morris Gesell, a singer and vocal coach, ended in divorce; her second husband, John Francis Byrne, died in 2008.
Her recordings include music by Menotti and Samuel Barber. In the late 1950's and ’60s she directed her own chamber opera company in New York — originally called the Patricia Neway Opera Workshop and later the Neway Opera Theater — devoted to contemporary works.
For all the ovations she received as Magda, Ms. Neway said that the greatest tributes came after the curtain went down. The original Broadway production of THE CONSUL was staged just five years after the end of World War II, a fact of which those in the theater were painfully aware.
‘There were awards and accolades’, she said in 2004. ‘But most of all there were those people from the audience who came backstage with tear-stained faces to thank me for telling their story’.”
- Margalit Fox, , THE NEW YORK TIMES, 5 Feb., 2012