OP2782. IL DUCA D'ALBA, Live Performance, 23 May, 1981, Firenze, w.Renzetti Cond. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Ensemble; Renato Bruson, Ruth Falcon, Ivo Ingraam, Gianfranco Manganotti, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 1082. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 3830257410829
"Ruth Falcon, a soprano who sang leading roles at major international opera houses and went on to become a sought-after voice teacher, mentoring prominent artists including Deborah Voigt, Sondra Radvanovsky and Danielle de Niese, appeared in the major houses of Berlin, Paris, Monte Carlo, Prague and Vienna. Her rich, sizable voice proved well suited to roles requiring more vocal weight and carrying power, like the Empress in Richard Strauss’ DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN, the role of her 1989 debut at the Metropolitan Opera.
Her Met debut was a high-pressured event: She substituted for a soprano who had taken ill. In his NEW YORK TIMES review, the critic Donal Henahan wrote that Ms. Falcon was a ‘soprano to reckon with’ whose ‘robust and glistening voice easily pierced the lushest orchestration’.
Ms. Falcon sang just 10 more performances with the Met over eight years, in roles including Chrysothemis in Strauss’ ELEKTRA and the daunting title role of Puccini’s TURANDOT. During this period she was drawn into teaching, maintaining a private studio and, in 1991, accepting the position at Mannes, which is part of the New School. She had initially resisted teaching, worried that the work would impede her own career. But the splendid success of an early student, Ms. Voigt, who became a leading dramatic soprano, soon brought other aspirants to her studio.
Ms. Voigt’s career was well underway when she approached Ms. Falcon — who sang similar roles — for coaching during the run-up to her Met debut in 1991 as Amelia in Verdi’s UN BALLO IN MASCHERA. Ms. Voigt called Ms. Falcon an astute coach and trustworthy mentor. The noted Spanish soprano Ainhoa Arteta turned to Ms. Falcon in her late 30s during a vocal crisis and credited their sessions with rebuilding her voice, as she explained in an interview with the journal REVISTAS CULTURALES in 2004.
Once Ms. Falcon took to teaching, she embraced it, working with young artist programs at the Washington National Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Met and elsewhere.
‘I teach students at all different stages of development’, Ms. Falcon said in a 2011 interview with NEW SCHOOL NEWS to mark her 20th anniversary at Mannes. ‘I love teaching advanced students, but I also love teaching babies’, she said. ‘The unifying quality is their sincere desire to work and fully develop their talent; I’m in there with them’.”
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Oct. , 2020
"Bruson was one of the foremost bel canto and Verdi baritones of his generation, and while this side of his artistry is lesser-known in the United States, he was also an accomplished song performer, specializing again in Romantic-era Italian works. He frequently championed the songs of Tosti, and was named an honorary citizen of Cortona, Tosti's home city, in recognition of this. While his Verdi roles are perhaps his best-known, especially Macbeth, Rigoletto, Renato (UN BALLO IN MASCHERA), and Simon Boccanegra, he sang in no fewer than seventeen Donizetti operas during the 1970s and 1980s, just ahead of the crest of a great resurgence of interest in lesser-known nineteenth-century works.
He made his opera debut as the Conte di Luna in IL TROVATORE at Spoleto in 1961. He appeared at the Met for the first time in 1969, as Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, and made his La Scala debut in LINDA DI CHAMONIX in 1972. In 1973, he made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, and in 1975 he made his Covent Garden debut in the same role, substituting for Piero Cappuccilli. His Vienna State Opera debut was in 1978, as Verdi's Macbeth. He sang with Riccardo Muti for the first time in 1970, and over the years became an adherent of Muti's insistence on singing come scritto, without singer-interpolated high notes, believing that this focuses attention on the music and drama rather than the singer.
His RIGOLETTO on Philips captures one of his major roles quite well, and among his many Tosti recordings on Nuova Era, 'Romanze su Testi Italiani' is one of the strongest."
- Anne Feeney, allmusic.com
"Bruson was the quintessential Verdi baritone in the second half of the last century. A Verdi baritone not as it was understood (or rather, misunderstood) in the 1950's and 60's, but a Verdi baritone as understood and desired by the composer himself."
- Christian Springer