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Thread: Are any of you knowledgeable about Mario del Monaco???

  1. #16
    Senior Member Seattleoperafan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diminuendo View Post
    Live performances are the best. He is a stage animal. For example live with Callas in Aida in Mexico in 1951 and Norma in La Scala in 1955. I prefer his earlier Otello recording with Erede. Both Del Monaco and Tebaldi in better vocal condition. Del Monaco is at his best before hisd car accident in 1963. He has some filmed performances, which you can get from Vaimusic:

    Otello 1959 Japan with Gabriella Tucci and Tito Gobbi
    Pagliacci 1961 Japan with Tucci and Aldo Protti
    Andrea Chenier 1961 Japan with Renata Tebaldi and Protti
    Aida 1961 Japan with Tucci, Protti and Giulietta Simionato.

    I mainly listen to his live performances, but his Decca recitals collection is great. It doesn't have Vesti la giubba or any arias form Otello. So if you listen from Spotify or Tidal you might want to make a playlist and add these to it. His voice was difficult to capture on microphones and in the Decca recitals you can hear how he sounds different depending on the recital. I love that collection and it has great variety of arias and songs. He even sang a few songs in english like Tonight from West Side Story. I really like how he sings them and his accent. It's so funny when the chorus starts singing and they are so much better in english than MDM. One of my favorites is his studio version of Giulietta son io from Giulietta e Romeo. He sang it a few times in concerts, but I think the studio version is the best. He also recorded some Wagner arias. His german isn't that great, but it's a pity that he didn't do more with Wagner. His E la solita storia is a must listen also. In the recital there is also a few religious songs with an organ. His voice fits these perfectly. Just imagine a church concert with Mario accompanied with an organ.




    Also this live performance of Vesti la giubba is a must. He acted better in live performances of the opera, but the voice is just...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgTPgl0U6hk
    The last video will be used in my speech. Riveting. So exciting in his acting and the top so easy. God, he was gorgeous!

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I will use the opportunity - can anyone give some good recommendations for MDM's recordings? I think I've only listened to his Otello in Karajan's recording. As Seattleoperafan, I also discovered him only quite recently.
    My top two recommendations for studio recordings that represent Del Monaco at his best are:
    1. Giordano's Andrea Chènier (Tebaldi, Bastianini; Gavazzeni, cond.)
    41FzuxPx49L.jpg

    2. La Gioconda (Cerquetti, Simionato, Bastianini, Siepi; Gavazzeni, cond.)
    51o5GWJOfgL.jpg

  4. #18
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diminuendo View Post
    Live performances are the best. He is a stage animal. For example live with Callas in Aida in Mexico in 1951 and Norma in La Scala in 1955. I prefer his earlier Otello recording with Erede. Both Del Monaco and Tebaldi in better vocal condition. Del Monaco is at his best before hisd car accident in 1963. He has some filmed performances, which you can get from Vaimusic:

    Otello 1959 Japan with Gabriella Tucci and Tito Gobbi
    Pagliacci 1961 Japan with Tucci and Aldo Protti
    Andrea Chenier 1961 Japan with Renata Tebaldi and Protti
    Aida 1961 Japan with Tucci, Protti and Giulietta Simionato.

    I mainly listen to his live performances, but his Decca recitals collection is great. It doesn't have Vesti la giubba or any arias form Otello. So if you listen from Spotify or Tidal you might want to make a playlist and add these to it. His voice was difficult to capture on microphones and in the Decca recitals you can hear how he sounds different depending on the recital. I love that collection and it has great variety of arias and songs. He even sang a few songs in english like Tonight from West Side Story. I really like how he sings them and his accent. It's so funny when the chorus starts singing and they are so much better in english than MDM. One of my favorites is his studio version of Giulietta son io from Giulietta e Romeo. He sang it a few times in concerts, but I think the studio version is the best. He also recorded some Wagner arias. His german isn't that great, but it's a pity that he didn't do more with Wagner. His E la solita storia is a must listen also. In the recital there is also a few religious songs with an organ. His voice fits these perfectly. Just imagine a church concert with Mario accompanied with an organ.




    Also this live performance of Vesti la giubba is a must. He acted better in live performances of the opera, but the voice is just...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgTPgl0U6hk
    Oh yes, I've been listening to this recital disc a lot these last few days! Thank you, and everyone else, for recommendations!

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    One of Del Monaco's excellent live recordings is Berlioz Les Troyens/ I Troiani at La Scala in 1960

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    Senior Member Tuoksu's Avatar
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    I'm shocked by the stories about his rivalry with Callas Corelli I could get, but Callas? I'm glad his pettiness didn't deprive us of such a dream combination, but now all the lovely photos of them together in Norma and Chenier etc look very different.

    Another thing that shocked me about MDM was his speaking voice!! It's so soft, sweet and gentle!

    Singers back in the day were generally much pettier than today. In this tv appearance he gets mad at Gigi Ballista saying things like "try to sing di quella pira like we do"



    Here I was shocked to learn he has blue/grey eyes! He was so hot even with that mustache:



    Here you can hear him sing Violetta (now we know why he was so jealous of Callas):

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    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    I'm going to revive this once again. Any thoughts on MDM's Ernani recordings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I'm going to revive this once again. Any thoughts on MDM's Ernani recordings?
    The RAI recording from 1958 is my preference


    It's a concert performance and the sound quality is excellent for the time. I may be in the minority but I think Mario actually sounds on better form here than in the 1957 Florence recording which on paper has the starry cast. Araujo sounds younger and lighter-voiced here than Cerquetti or Milanov and I'm a fan of Sereni and Siepi so that's a bonus.

    Del Monaco is definitely more relaxed-sounding here than at the Met in 1956 where for better or worse he sounded turbo-charged: one of those recordings where I find him a little too hectoring and loud. The voices were closely recorded which is certainly vivid: Milanov and Warren can be powerful singers so it is a big grand performance.

    The 1961 Santini set has Mario sounding relaxed but the cast is arguably no better than the RAI and the sound quality is not so good so I don't really listen to it very often.
    Last edited by Revitalized Classics; May-17-2020 at 02:41.

  10. #23
    Senior Member annaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revitalized Classics View Post
    The RAI recording from 1958 is my preference


    It's a concert performance and the sound quality is excellent for the time. I may be in the minority but I think Mario actually sounds on better form here than in the 1957 Florence recording which on paper has the starry cast. Araujo sounds younger and lighter-voiced here than Cerquetti or Milanov and I'm a fan of Sereni and Siepi so that's a bonus.

    Del Monaco is definitely more relaxed-sounding here than at the Met in 1956 where for better or worse he sounded turbo-charged: one of those recordings where I find him a little too hectoring and loud. The voices were closely recorded which is certainly vivid: Milanov and Warren can be powerful singers so it is a big grand performance.

    The 1961 Santini set has Mario sounding relaxed but the cast is arguably no better than the RAI and the sound quality is not so good so I don't really listen to it very often.
    Thanks! I'll check these out! Out of pure interest I listened do an excerpt from the 1956 Met and "turbo-charged" seems to be an accurate description .
    Last edited by annaw; May-17-2020 at 09:13.

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