V0029. EUGENE CONLEY: Arias from I Puritani, Lucia, Favorita, Martha, Rigoletto, Faust, Carmen, Turandot &
Il Trovatore, (recorded 1949); w.Cleva Cond.: Madama Butterfly – Addio fiorito asil; w.Albanese: Bimba dagli occhi (Live Performance, 17 Jan., 1953); w.Erede Cond. Güden & Merrill: La Boheme – Excerpts (Live Performance, 19 Dec., 1953). (Italy) Bongiovanni 1109. Long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 8007068110926
“Eugene Conley, a tenor with the Metropolitan and New York City Opera Companies, was the first American tenor to open the season at Milan's La Scala. Noted for his ability to reach high notes, Mr. Conley was invited to La Scala in 1949 for the revival of Bellini's I PURITANI, which was rarely performed because the first tenor aria included a D flat above high C. Mr. Conley' success resulted in his becoming a favorite with Milan operagoers.
A native of Lynn, Mass., Mr. Conley began his professional career as a radio singer on a small station in the Boston area. He was first heard on national radio in 1939, when the National Broadcasting Company put him on the air in ‘NBC Presents Eugene Conley’. He performed also on NBC's 'Magic Key’,' the Columbia Broadcasting System's 'Golden Treasures of Song' and Mutual's 'Operatic Review’. Mr. Conley appeared with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra and was also a regular performer on the 'Voice of Firestone’, a radio and television program.
In 1940, he made his operatic début at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the Duke in RIGOLETTO, and in the New York La Scala Opera Company's production of Verdi's RIGOLETTO. He went on stage without rehearsal. Mr. Conley performed with New York's San Carlo Opera Company, the Cincinnati Summer Opera and the Chicago Opera Company before going into the Army Air Corps in 1942.
While in the service, he sang in the musical WINGED VICTORY, in a cast composed entirely of Air Corps personnel. In 1944, during the show's New York run, Mr. Conley was loaned to the San Carlo Opera when Fortune Gallo, the impresario, pleaded that the war had created a shortage of tenors in New York. At that time, this was regarded as Mr. Conley's most prominent performance on the operatic stage.
In a concert at Town Hall, in 1946, he presented a program of operatic arias and Irish songs. Ross Parmenter, a critic for The New York Times, wrote: ‘It is in opera that Mr. Conley is most at home. Not only does he sing arias with a passionate outpouring of melody, but he has the control and amplitude of voice to bring them off on the ambitious scale he sets for himself. His high, ringing notes evoked many a 'bravo’.'
By the time he made his début with the Metropolitan Opera, in January 1950, Mr. Conley had sung at the Paris Opéra-Comique, where he made his European début; London's Covent Garden, Stockholm's Royal Opera and La Scala. At the Metropolitan, in his first performance, he sang the title role in FAUST.
In 1953, Mr. Conley sang at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's inaugural. In 1978, Mr. Conley appeared in concert at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in a program of operatic selections, including in the performance, as he did all in his others, ‘Danny Boy’.”
- C. Gerald Fraser, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 21 Dec., 1981