OP2742. ARCIFANFANO (von Dittersdorf), Live Performance, 11 Nov., 1965, Town Hall, New York, w.Newell Jenkins Cond. Eleanor Steber, Patricia Brooks, Anna Russell, John McCollum, etc. (Sung in the English translation by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman, written for this occasion!) 2-VAI 1010, w.19pp. Libretto-Brochure. Final copy! - 089948101024
"We added considerable comic by-play among ourselves. This performance brought me back into the delightful company of my old friend, Anna Russell, the singing comedienne so famous for her side-splitting analysis of 'The Ring of the Nibelung' and other sacred musical cows....we had a ball - just plain rollicking good fun between ourselves and our audience."
- Eleanor Steber, ELEANOR STEBER, AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, p.235
“Eleanor Steber's image on the cover of this set caught my eye while rummaging through the cut-out bins of San Francisco on a recent opera whirlwind. What a lost treasure this performance is - recorded ‘Live Performance,’ in NYC 1965! All the principles shine, their energy ebullient. Don't hesitate, buy it and smile before it disappears.”
- W. Parr
“von Dittersdorf is a sort of working-man's Mozart; in fact, this opera sounds similar to some of Mozart's early operas. But Mozart sought to break the rules and to explore new musical ideas; von Dittersdorf is not an innovator...yet he is no less a master! This performance, too, is a masterpiece of refined (not always!) comedy; the arias include some extremely difficult vocal leaps and trills, yet the primary joy is the witty verse. W.H. Auden (no less!) ramrodded this translation to English. And Anna Russell, famed for her ‘Analysis of Wagner's Ring Cycle’ steals every scene she's in! Ad-libbing shamelessly, her introductory aria, all by itself, is worth more than the purchase price!”
- Silas Sparkhammer