Attila  (Verdi)    (Silipigni;  Leyla Gencer, Jerome Hines, Cesare Bardelli)   (2-Myto 0014)
Item# OP2238
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Attila  (Verdi)    (Silipigni;  Leyla Gencer, Jerome Hines, Cesare Bardelli)   (2-Myto 0014)
OP2238. ATTILA (Verdi), Live Performance, 20 Oct., 1972, w.Silipigni Cond. Opera Theatre of New Jersey Ensemble, Newark; Leyla Gencer, Jerome Hines, Cesare Bardelli, etc. (E.U.) 2-Myto 0014. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 3030257900140


“The American bass Jerome Hines had a long and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Opera singing a wide variety of rôles with true consistency of voice and style. He appeared with the company for more than 40 years from 1946. An imposing figure - he was 6ft 6in tall - he had a voluminous bass to match his stature.

His charismatic presence made him ideal for the many rôles demanding a big personality. It was thus hardly surprising that Sarastro in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Gounod's Mephistopheles, the high priest Ramfis in AÏDA, the Grand Inquisitor in DON CARLOS, Boris Godunov, and King Mark in TRISTAN UND ISOLDE were among his leading rôles.

Although always faithful to the Met, Hines made many forays abroad. In 1953, he undertook Nick Shadow, with Glyndebourne, at the Edinburgh festival, in the first British performances of Stravinsky's THE RAKE'S PROGRESS. That led to engagements in leading houses in Europe and south America, and eventually to Bayreuth, where he sang Gurnemanz, King Mark and Wotan (1958-63). In 1958, he made his La Scala début in the title part of Handel's HERCULES, and, in 1961, he first appeared at the San Carlo in Naples, in the title rôle of Boito's MEFISTOFELE. His Boris Godunov, at the Bolshoi in Moscow in 1962 was, by all accounts, a deeply impressive portrayal.

He was fortunate to arrive at the Met just as the opera house was in need of replacements for the great Ezio Pinza, who had decided to appear in SOUTH PACIFIC. Unlike his distinguished predecessor, Hines could also sing the German and Russian repertory, in addition to Italian and French. In all, his innate musicianship stood him in good stead. Most of his discs derived from live performances. They reveal a sterling voice, a refined style, consisting of a burnished tone, a fine line and exemplary diction, although he never seems to have have been a very profound interpreter.

Hines was both a deeply religious person and a good writer. He combined these qualities in his own opera, I AM THE WAY, a work about Jesus, performed, with Hines as the protagonist, at Philadelphia in 1969. The previous year, he had published his autobiography, THIS IS MY STORY, THIS IS MY SONG, but his most lasting volume was GREAT SINGERS ON GREAT SINGING (1982), in which he made discerning comments on the art of many colleagues.

Hines' later appearances befitted his advancing years: he was Arkel, the elderly grandfather in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE (Rome, 1984), and the blind father in Mascagni's IRIS (Newark, 1989). His last stage appearance was as Sarastro, in New Orleans in 1998, when he was 77.”

- Alan Blyth, THE GUARDIAN, 13 Feb., 2003

“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

“Cesare Bardelli was an Italian baritone who enjoyed a long international career. He was born in Genoa, but as he was brought up in Pisa, he considered himself a child of that city and its region. Cesare was the youngest of three sons. His father, a railroad stationmaster, was a frustrated singer, who sang semi-professionally. When the boy developed a fine treble voice, Sr. Bardelli wasted no time before enrolling him with leading voice teachers, which, in Pisa, included Barsanti and Pizzi, and dreamed of Cesare having an operatic career. When Cesare's voice broke and he emerged with a good baritone voice, he was sent to Milan to study with Carlo Tagliabue, a famous operatic baritone.

Bardelli's professional debut performance was as Amonasro in Verdi's AIDA in the Italian opera house of Alessandria. He was immediately engaged to sing in Cairo as Scarpia. The prestige of this appointment for only the second professional operatic production of his career can be judged by the star-power of his co-stars: Maria Caniglia -- one of the great Toscas -- and Beniamino Gigli, a credible nominee for the crown as the greatest tenor after Caruso. Despite committing the faux pas of dropping a prop audibly during Tosca's great aria ‘Vissi d'arte’ (earning a ‘fulminating’ glare from Caniglia) he went on to sing the role over 950 times opposite such great Toscas as Kirsten, Steber, Milanov, Albanese, Tebaldi, Nilsson, Caballe, Leontyne Price, Olivero, and Kabaivanska.

The next year, 1938, Bardelli completed his vocal studies at the Liceo in Milan and won the prize in the Castello Sforzesco competition over 300 other contestants. Very soon after this point, the outbreak of World War II interrupted his career. He was drafted into the Italian Army where he served in three campaigns. With Italy's departure from the War, Bardelli resumed singing with a three-year contract in Trieste (1944-1946). He added such operas as LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, BARBER OF SEVILLE, TRISTAN, SALOME, TRAVIATA, and RIGOLETTO to his repertory (which would ultimately encompass 43 roles). On the famous occasion in 1946 when Renata Tebaldi made her debut in ANDREA CHÉNIER, opposite Mario del Monaco, Bardelli was the baritone.

He made his first American appearance in Detroit in 1947, debuting in New York at the New York City Opera in 1952. In America, he polished his technique with studies under the great teacher Daniele Serra, his exclusive coach thereafter. Bardelli's first Met appearance was in 1957 as Alfio in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA. He was invited to sing in the Washington, D.C. Summer Festival concert honoring the late President Kennedy, in the widow's presence. In 1966, he sang both in the first production of the New Metropolitan Opera House (April 11, 1966, as Rance in Puccini's LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST), and five days later in the Gala Farewell Concert at the historic Old Met. In 1968, he was specially requested to sing at the festivities of the 100th anniversary of the opera house in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

He became a noted voice teacher -- the movie and television star Paul Sorvino is among his pupils -- and retired from the stage in 1979. Bardelli believed that music-making, particularly operatic production, was a matter for live performance only. He was the only ranking baritone of his generation or since who refused ever to make a studio recording, and turned down offers from Hollywood (he was a handsome man) he refused, answering, ‘I have chosen my professional career as an opera singer, thank you’.

Bardelli's hobby was cooking and he was proud of being the creator of ‘Ravioli alla Bardelli’, which is found in THE NEW YORK TIMES Cookbook.”

- Joseph Stevenson,