OP3275. CARMEN, recorded 1954, w.Gressier Cond. Denise Scharley, Libero de Luca, Martha Angelici, Michel Roux, Robert Massard, etc. (France) 2-Malibran 821. [A thrilling and truly idiomatic performance whose spoken recitatives are a delight to the ear, especially from the radiant Scharley; this is a likely contender for one of the greatest complete CARMEN performances on record! Highly recommended!] - 7600003778215
"It was in 1945 Salle Favart that Denise Scharley was offered the role of Carmen which she performed countless times until 1968. Immediately the critics raved Denise Scharley is an ideal Carmen. Her voice without a hole nor broken pieces, without white notes, is a model of vocal equilibrium. In addition, this great singer who continues to play true, gives his character a striking relief. For once we saw evolving on stage the sensual and cruel Bohemian that Merimée had dreamed. She was admirable in the seduction scenes of the first act. Denise Scharley, if life does not spoil her too much, should make a sensational career."
- Martial Bardinez
Denise Scharley was a French contralto who débuted at the Opéra-Comique on 29 November, 1942, in the role of Geneviève in PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, and then at the Paris Opéra, 23 Nov., 1953, as Maddalena in RIGOLETTO. On 21 June, 1957, she created the role of the Prioress in Poulencs DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. Denise Scharley occupied a place in the forefront of French singers. Two key roles, however, have particularly distinguished her: that of Madame de Croissy, First Prioress (DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES) and Mme Flora in Menottis THE MEDIUM. In 1951 she appeared as Carmen at the Monnaie in Brussels. She is particularly remembered for performances of SAMSON ET DALILA at the Palais Garnier in 1960. With Crespin and Gorr, she was one of the Norns in GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, Fricka in DIE WALKÜRE and Erda in SIEGFRIED in 1958, under Knappertsbusch. In Webers OBERON she became Puck, under the baton of André Cluytens (1954), and young David, at the stage presentation of Arthur Honegger's KING DAVID in October 1960. In 1972, she again sang Madame de Croissy in the new production of DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES. In Geneva, she also had the opportunity to perform the Russian repertoire in PIQUE DAME and KHOVANSHCHINA.
- Z. D. Akron
Libero de Luca was born in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, and studied voice at the Zürich Coservatory with Alfredo Cairati. After winning a first prize at an international voice competition in Geneva, in 1941, he made his professional début the following year at the Solothurn Municipal Theatre. After one season at the Bern Municipal Theatre, he joined the Zürich Opera where he was first tenor from 1943 to 1949. During that period, he also appeared regularly to great acclaim at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, the Royal Opera House in London, at La Monnaie in Brussels, and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1949, he made his début at both the Opéra-Comique and the Palais Garnier, where he established himself as lead tenor in the French repertoire.
Libero De Luca was fluent in German, French and Italian, and excelled in all three repertoire in lyric roles. He retired from the stage in 1961, and became a full-time voice teacher in Horn, Switzerland, near Lake Constance, where he died in 1997.
De Luca made several recordings, notably in MIGNON and MANON, opposite Janine Micheau, LAKMÉ, opposite Mado Robin, and CARMEN, opposite Suzanne Juyol. There are also some operetta-recordings on Polydor, conducted by Franz Marszalek."
- Ned Ludd
"Martha Angelici was a French operatic soprano of Corsican origin, particularly associated with the French lyric repertoire. While still very young she moved with her family to Belgium, where she studied voice in Brussels with Alfred Mahy. She began singing for the Belgian, Dutch and Luxemburg radio in 1933, and gave her first public concert at the Kurzaal of Ostend in 1934. Her first stage performance was in Marseille, as Mimi in La Bohème, in 1936. She made her début at the Opéra-Comique in 1938, where she had a long and successful career, and made her début at the Palais Garnier in 1953, as Micaëla in Carmen, other notable roles included Leila, Pamina, Nedda, etc. She made a few guest appearances at the Monte Carlo Opera and La Monnaie in Brussels. She was also much admired in French baroque music notably in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes, and was much loved as a concert singer, especially of Corsican songs. She was married to the director of the Opéra-Comique, François Agostini."
-Zillah Dorset Akron
"Massard made his professional debut at the Paris Opéra in 1952, as the High Priest in SAMSON ET DALILA, shorthly followed by Valentin in FAUST. The same year, he also made his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, as Thoas in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE. His career rapidly took an international dimension with debuts in 1955, at La Scala and the Glyndebourne Festival, both as Ramiro in L'HEURE ESPAGNOLE. Oreste in IPHIGENIE EN TAURIDE was his debut role at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Edinburgh Festival. Massard also appeared in North and South America, notably at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, at Carnegie Hall and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. Henceforth considered one of the best French baritones of his generation, he was internationally acclaimed as Valentin in FAUST, Escamillo in CARMEN, Fieramosca in BENVENUTO CELLINI, and Golaud in PELLEAS ET MELISANDE."
- Ned Ludd