V2629. FRANCO CORELLI: Three Neapolitan Songs; Arias from Le Cid, La Fanciulla del West, Rigoletto, Tosca & Macbeth; TERESA IANNELLO: Arias from Adriana Lecouvreur, Andrea Chénier, Tosca, La Boheme & Madama Butterfly (w. Anton Guadagno Cond. Boston Lyric Opera Orch.) [The voices ring out with thrilling abandon in the reverberant acoustic of Symphony Hall!]. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-1023, Live Performance, 15 March, 1967, Symphony Hall, Boston. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
"Franco Corelli had been singing for well over a decade when he made his Met debut in 1961 at the age of 40. The first attraction in any Corelli performance is the voice itself. Solid and evenly produced from bottom to top, with no audible seams between registers. The middle and lower parts of the voice are dark and richly colored. The top is stunningly brilliant, and never thins out or turns hard. It is a once-in-a-generation kind of voice if your generation is lucky, and in the four decades since his retirement in 1976 we have had nothing like it for visceral power. Some critics complained because Corelli would hold high notes well beyond their value in the score. But if we listen to singers from the past whose careers overlapped with the great Italian opera composers, and who often worked with them, we can easily conclude that the composers expected it. (A recording of an aria from Francesco Cilea's ADRIANA LECOUVREUR by tenor Fernando de Lucia, with the composer accompanying at the piano, exposes liberties that go far beyond anything Corelli ever did, and Cilea echoes those 'distortions' at the keyboard.)"
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE
"During his day, Mr. Corelli was criticized for his often hammy singing. He was a famously lusty tenor, and no score marking, let alone a mere conductor, was going to limit how long he held his ringing high notes. Today, when we lack tenors with his kind of vocal charisma, it is exciting to hear someone with such an enormous, vibrant voice unleash it so confidently."
- Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 24 Sept., 2000