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Thread: Other Italian sopranos of the 40s-50s-60s

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    Default Other Italian sopranos of the 40s-50s-60s

    I've just 'discovered' the soprano Carla Gavazzi who appears on a number of the Cetra recordings from the 50s. I like what I've heard so far, although she doesn't compare with my favourites from that period. She retired early to look after an ill son, but had a career in Italy in the 40s and 50s in Verdi and Puccini, specialising in verismo.

    She's one of a number of sopranos who were overshaddowed by the Callas-Tebaldi duopoly. I think that apart from Magda Olivero these sopranos (Mancini, Curtis-Verna, Stella, Pobbe, Petrella and Frazzoni) were most definitely second rank. Gavazzi and Frazzoni are a cut above the others although they never quite made it. Somewhat later on there was Tucci who I think was underrated a little and I wish she had recorded as much as Stella.

    What are your thoughts, which other Italian sopranos from that era are worth hearing, who are your favourites and can you recommend any recordings?

    N.
    Last edited by The Conte; Jun-14-2019 at 23:18.

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    Of course, if the comparison is with Maria Callas or Renata Tebaldi, is very difficult to reach that level. But I think there were quite a few pretty interesting Italian sopranos during the period chosen in the OP. Some of them already mentioned.

    I have also a soft spot for Rosanna Carteri, that started very young and retired early to live a family life.

    This "Onegin" sung in Italian, was very nice:



    Or this "Iris" duet with Di Stefano:



    A complete "Traviata":


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    Not Italian but a superb Turkish soprano, Leyla Gencer who got caught in the downdraught of the Callas/Tebaldi years.

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    I have also a soft spot for Rosanna Carteri, that started very young and retired early to live a family life.
    Carteri (mentioned by Schigolch) was a recent discovery for me also when buying some of the new RCA remastered operas, lost in the shuffle of deep talent pool back then, great talent cut short....

    Also Tucci mentioned by Conte sang with the all great singers of the time but lost in back waves of deep talent pool, some amazing recording survive though like famous Trovatore with Corelli.....






    Also must mention Cerquetti who was massively talented dramatic soprano with huge voice that could sing the great bel canto roles with fine technique and dramatic flair, unfortunately she quit at her peak popularity overcome from pressure of performance at the top and wanting some sense of normalcy for her life again........this Ernani will blow you away, five titans indeed!




    How can one sing "vissi d arte" and still stand out from the greatest singers ever, with voice and technique like this:

    https://youtu.be/gIEjoyefMaU
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jun-15-2019 at 07:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Turns out that Zeani is Romanian.

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    Stella Roman is hardly mentioned much today but popular at MET / La scala in 1940s overshadowed by the stars like Zinka Milanov still she had her moments of fame.....

    Check her bel canto technique as Leonora, very nice:

    https://youtu.be/Dmuq17fUtE0


    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jun-15-2019 at 05:38.

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    Anita Cerquetti - Anch'io dischiuso un giorno - Salgo già del trono aurato - Nabucco - Verdi -1960
    Top notch.

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    does Italian-American count? If so, Dusolina Giannini is worth a listen


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    Stella Roman was also Romanian, but I guess the intention was perhaps to discuss sopranos from the 40s-50s-60s, that mainly sang Italian repertoire?.

    To me, Anita Cerquetti does belong to the Callas-Tebaldi tier of top singers. Of course, her career was very short, even shorter than Callas's, but her wonderful voice and great singing technique were outstanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    Stella Roman was also Romanian, but I guess the intention was perhaps to discuss sopranos from the 40s-50s-60s, that mainly sang Italian repertoire?.

    To me, Anita Cerquetti does belong to the Callas-Tebaldi tier of top singers. Of course, her career was very short, even shorter than Callas's, but her wonderful voice and great singing technique were outstanding.
    Cerquetti not only had very short career measured by time (retired at 30) but I know of only 1 studio opera recording available the Decca Gioconda, everything else we have is live performance of variable sound quality and a couple recitals so future opera fans are at a loss
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jun-15-2019 at 14:22.

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    I've just 'discovered' the soprano Carla Gavazzi who appears on a number of the Cetra recordings from the 50s. I like what I've heard so far, although she doesn't compare with my favourites from that period. She retired early to look after an ill son, but had a career in Italy in the 40s and 50s in Verdi and Puccini, specialising in verismo.
    I would love to see all those Cetra recordings collected together in a boxset with Original Art Covers which I love for their primitive almost child like simplicity but bold visual impact. Some of these crazy operas are hard to find or very expensive and feature a mixture of well known and 2nd, 3rd tier singers....but fun to discover these lost names now!


    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jun-15-2019 at 14:37.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    I would love to see all those Cetra recordings collected together in a boxset with Original Art Covers which I love for their primitive almost child like simplicity but bold visual impact. Some of these crazy operas are hard to find or very expensive and feature a mixture of well known and 2nd, 3rd tier singers....but fun to discover these lost names now!


    I love that Aida recording (very much overlooked). I have been looking at the Cetras and going through listening to as many as possible and whilst I wouldn't need to listen to most of them again, there are some gems there. I too have been thinking that they could be put together as a box set as they make a comprehensive survey of 19th century Italian opera (with some forays into earlier and latter rep). However, that would be a huge box. I'm surprised that they didn't produce a Verdi box when they reissued the Verdi recordings for the 2013 anniversary though.

    N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post
    Carteri (mentioned by Schigolch) was a recent discovery for me also when buying some of the new RCA remastered operas, lost in the shuffle of deep talent pool back then, great talent cut short....

    Also Tucci mentioned by Conte sang with the all great singers of the time but lost in back waves of deep talent pool, some amazing recording survive though like famous Trovatore with Corelli.....






    Also must mention Cerquetti who was massively talented dramatic soprano with huge voice that could sing the great bel canto roles with fine technique and dramatic flair, unfortunately she quit at her peak popularity overcome from pressure of performance at the top and wanting some sense of normalcy for her life again........this Ernani will blow you away, five titans indeed!




    How can one sing "vissi d arte" and still stand out from the greatest singers ever, with voice and technique like this:

    https://youtu.be/gIEjoyefMaU
    Tucci and Cerquetti are quite recent discoveries for me and this Trovatore and Aida are two of Simionato's best recordings. It would have been wonderful if Callas had been up to recording another Leonora in that set (WOW!!), however it wasn't to be and Tucci isn't to be sniffed at. Her voice may not be particularly memorable, but she can sing the role and with enough drama to make it a very successful set.

    N.

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    the Italian spinto soprano Antoinetta Stella is CRIMINALLY underrated


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