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--Standard Repertory--

By Giacomo Puccini


VIDEO: A) LYRIC DISTRIBUTION: Magda Olivero, Misciano; 1960--B & W; So-so visuals, but no other complete video of this operatic thriller pulls one along so relentlessly; do not recall any subtitles. [G.R.]

B) Act II only is available in a Paris Gala (1958) featuring Maria Callas in her Paris debut, Albert Lance, and Tito Gobbi (who also stage-directed)--a must-see. On videotape, issued by EMI in a cleaned-up version; EMI 91258. (See BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA) [NOT to be confused with an Act II dir. Franco Zefirelli, Covent Garden, 1964 (also w/Gobbi!), where Callas's appalling vocal condition is a complete turn-off.] [G.R.]

AUDIO: A) Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Tito Gobbi, De Sabata; La Scala, 1953; Angel CDCB 47174 (mono); a benchmark recording; Callas, Di Stefano and Gobbi, as a tight-knit trio, achieve a kind of alchemy equal to this same trio's Rigoletto and to the Ludwig/Vickers Fidelio under Klemperer [G.R.]

B) DECCA/LONDON: Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Maazel conducting, 1966; two incredible voices at their peak naturally recorded, for once, without the mike placement two inches from their tonsils; the result gives one a thrilling perspective of how these two sounded in a real auditorium; studio ambience, though, does hurt and aggravate Fischer-Dieskau's over-inflected and self-conscious Scarpia; excellent stereo [G.R.]

C-1) EMI: Maria Caniglia, Beniamino Gigli, Armando Borgioli, de Fabritiis conducting, 1938; mono

C-2) CETRA: Gigliola Frazzoni, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Basile conducting, 1955; mono

C-3) RCA: Zinka Milanov, Jussi Bjoerling, Leonard Warren, Leinsdorf conducting, 1957; stereo

C-4) DECCA/LONDON: Leontyne Price, Giuseppe di Stefano, Giuseppe Taddei, von Karajan conducting, 1962; stereo

D-1) DECCA/LONDON: Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe Campora, Enzo Mascherini, Erede conducting, 1952; mono

D-2) DECCA/LONDON: Renata Tebaldi, Mario del Monaco, George London, Molinari-Pradelli conducting, 1959; stereo

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This Page Last Revised 10/09/99 | Copyright © 1998 by Geoffrey Riggs
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