V2034. JAIME ARAGALL: Arias from I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Lucrezia Borgia, Caterina Cornaro, La Favorita, Lucia, Manon, Werther, Faust, Rigoletto, Don Carlos, La Boheme, Tosca & L’Amico Fritz. (Italy) Bongiovanni 1223, Live Performances, 1966-77. Final Copy! - 8007068122325
“Despite debilitating stage nerves and a tendency to sing under pitch, Spanish tenor Giacomo (born Jaime or, in Catalan, Jaume) Aragall forged a significant career. While his gifts were not always realized to their fullest due to the persistent anxiety that dogged him, his lovely, slightly smoky timbre and easy top register were heard to excellent effect in the lyric rôles of his young years and in the spinto parts he assumed in his maturity.
After Aragall's stage début (Venice, 1963 in Verdi's JÉRUSALEM), he appeared at La Scala as the eponymous hero in Mascagni's L'AMICO FRITZ. His La Scala début led to the offer of a three-year contract, an occurrence that placed enormous psychological pressures on the 23-year-old tenor, introverted by nature and as yet unaccustomed to living up to high expectations. For several important débuts, Aragall was presented as the Duke of Mantua, RIGOLETTO serving as his first opera at Verona in 1965, at both Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in 1968, and in San Francisco in 1973. The year following his San Francisco début found him back in the California city for Massenet's rarely heard ESCLARMONDE, a production starring Joan Sutherland, transported to the Metropolitan in 1976. A Decca/London recording preserved the work of most of the original production's cast, including Aragall as Roland. In the late '70s, nerves and distress at being apart from his family led Aragall to abandon his career for a time. Eventually, however, the desire to sing drew him back to the stage, more mature in handling career stresses and able to master a somewhat heavier repertory. Rôles such as Cavaradossi, Rodolfo, Gabriele Adorno (SIMON BOCCANEGRA), Don Carlo, and Riccardo became staples along with certain French parts from earlier days, Werther, Faust, and Massenet's Des Grieux included.”
- Erik Eriksson, allmusic.com