Don Giovanni  (von Karajan;  Waechter, Berry, Price, Valletti, Schwarzkopf, Sciutti, Panerai, Zaccaria)  (3-Myto 00317)
Item# OP2601
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Don Giovanni  (von Karajan;  Waechter, Berry, Price, Valletti, Schwarzkopf, Sciutti, Panerai, Zaccaria)  (3-Myto 00317)
OP2601. DON GIOVANNI, Live Performance, 3 Aug., 1960, w.von Karajan Cond. Eberhard Wachter, Walter Berry, Cesare Valletti, Leontyne Price, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Graziella Sciutti, Rolando Panerai, Nicola Zaccaria, etc. [NB: the singers of the roles of Donna Anna and Donna Elvira are reversed on the traycard]; von Karajan Cond. RAI S.O., Torino: Jupiter Symphony #41 in C, K.551 (Mozart). (E.U.) 3-Myto 00317. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 0801439903173


"Price soon proved to all that Karajan's enthusiasm was not misplaced. The Austrians marveled over her command of Mozart style, a Donna Anna who not only burned with dramatic fire but also rejoiced in uncommon vocal richness and easy flexibility."

- Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.515

"Although Valletti was a student of Tito Schipa (from whom he undoubtedly learnt some of the graces of production and interpretation), he was in some aspects a counterpart to his coach. Vallettiis was a light but flexible tenor voice of Italianate lyricism and a rare beauty of tone. His timbre was not as 'sweet' as that of Tito Schipa, Ferruccio Tagliavini or Beniamino Gigli, but he was the most accomplished technician of them all."

- Andrea Shum-Binder, subito-cantabile

"As one of the younger tenors to emerge soon after World War II, it was obvious that Valletti was an artist whose reputation would be made based on artistic and musical considerations. His musicianship and vocal colour made him an ideal interpreter of Mozart roles, and like Schipa [his mentor], he became a renowned Werther with sensitivity and nuance being the key to his interpretation....he was considered a lyric tenor of the front rank."

- Alan Bilgora, program notes to Pearl's THE CETRA TENORS

"In 1953 Eberhard Wachter made his operatic debut as Silvio at the Vienna Volksoper. From 1954 he was a member of the Vienna State Opera, and in 1963 he was named as Austrian Kammersanger. He made his debut in at London�s Covent Garden as Count Almaviva and his first appearance at the Salzburg Festival as Arbace in IDOMENEO in 1956. In 1958 he made his d�but at the Bayreuth Festival as Amfortas. He sang for the first time at the Paris Op�ra as Wolfram in 1959. In 1960 he sang Count Almaviva at his debuts at Milan's La Scala and Chicago's Lyric Opera. In 1961 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Wolfram. In subsequent years, he continued to appear regularly in Vienna, where he created the role of Joseph in Einem's JESU HOCHZEIT in 1980. In 1987 Eberhard Wachter became director of the Vienna Volksoper. From 1991 he was also co-director of the Vienna State Opera."

-Zillah Dorset Akron

Rolando Panerai, an Italian baritone who sang more than 150 roles at leading international opera houses, made many classic recordings and appeared frequently with the celebrated soprano Maria Callas in her prime, was widely admired throughout a 65-year operatic career for his full-bodied sound and the elegance of his singing. Steeped in the Italian vocal heritage, he sang with supple phrasing and evenness throughout his entire vocal range. If not the most charismatic presence onstage, he readily conveyed authority and dramatic depth and brought a light comedic touch to the title roles of Puccinis GIANNI SCHICCHI and Rossinis THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, among many other characters. Though his repertory was extensive, Mr. Panerai focused closely on Italian opera. Earlier in his career, he sang several German roles in Italian translation, like Amfortas in Wagners PARSIFAL.

Outlining the requisite qualities of a true Verdi baritone in an interview earlier this year with Classical Singer magazine, Mr. Panerai essentially described his own voice: a dark brownish tint like bronze coupled with the quality of the metal, which reminds us of the power and strength. In a 1996 interview with Bruce Duffie for WNIB, a former classical music radio station in Chicago, Mr. Panerai cautioned younger singers about being dragged into the characters they portray. I am used to acting with a certain detachment or coldness, he said. By acting that way you can act better, he asserted, and more effectively convey what the composer has to say.

Famous from his recordings and busy in Europe, Mr. Panerai had a lower profile on American opera stages. Mr. Panerai singing Figaro in a production of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO at the San Francisco Opera in 1958. Famous from his recordings and busy in Europe, Mr. Panerai had a lower profile on American opera stages. His performances sounded anything but detached. On a 1955 live recording of Donizettis LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, a production at the Berlin State Opera conducted by Herbert von Karajan starring Callas, Mr. Panerai holds his own in every gripping moment of the confrontation between his character, Enrico, the head of a Scottish estate in severe decline, and Callas Lucia, Enricos tormented sister, whom he is trying to force into an advantageous marriage to save the family from ruin. Callas sounds frantic and dazed by her brothers bullying. Yet below the surface bluster of Mr. Panerais Enrico, you hear the panic of a prideful young man who needs his fragile sister to rescue him. Mr. Panerai sang often with Callas during the 1950s, the most important decade of her career, and made several treasured opera recordings with her, including versions of Bellinis I PURITANI, Verdis IL TROVATORE and Puccinis LA BOHME. He called Callas the greatest singer I ever listened to or worked with in the 1996 interview.

In 1972, 16 years after the BOHME with Callas, Mr. Panerai recorded the role of Marcello, this time with Mirella Freni as Mim, Luciano Pavarotti as Rodolfo and Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. It is the BOHME of choice for many Puccini-lovers.

He sang one of his signature roles, Ford in FALSTAFF, on three acclaimed recordings: with Karajan conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra of London in 1956; with Leonard Bernstein leading the Vienna Philharmonic in 1966; and again with Karajan, in 1980, also leading the Vienna Philharmonic. The critic Peter G. Davis, reviewing the last version for THE NEW YORK TIMES, wrote that Mr. Panerais dark, vibrant, firm, slightly dry tone has changed remarkably little with age, nor has his characteristic nobility of expression, incisive diction and elegant feeling for Verdian phrases deserted him.

Rolando Panerai was born the youngest of three brothers on Oct. 17, 1924, in Campi Bisenzio, near Florence. His father, Oreste, ran a shoe factory. His mother was Ada (Paoli) Panerai. Rolando was drawn to music early. He studied at the academy in Florence, continued his training in Milan and made his stage debut in 1946 as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor at the theater in his hometown.

He never appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, though he was offered some engagements early in his career. But by then he had a family and wanted to stay closer to home. He continued to sing, as well as coach and, in later years, direct operas, through his 70s. In 2011, at 87, he sang the title role of GIANNI SCHICCHI in Genoa. Mr. Panerai attributed his longevity to sensible work habits, giving up smoking in his 20s and eating a Mediterranean diet. He advised younger singers to focus on their artistry and not obsess about a career. It is best to sing well and not become bigheaded, he said in 1996. The rest comes all by itself.

- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 30 Oct., 2019

Unwittingly [Karajan] had filled the void left by the death of Hitler in that part of the German psyche which craves for a leader. He was unpredictable, ruthless and outspoken. Nobody - at any rate nobody in Austria - ever questioned Karajan's right to do exactly what he wanted. He moved everywhere with a circle of sycophants, who tried to justify their existence by speaking for him whenever possible, and I had to make it clear right away that I could not function at one remove from the conductor. As always, the direct approach worked. I don't think Karajan ever understood how much of his troubles were due to the people he allowed to surround him. Such petty issues often distorted one's view of Karajan the musician.

- John Culshaw, manager of classical recording for Decca, 1967-75