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Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo recorded an amazing scene from Fedora in 1978. I think they should have tackled the whole opera. Domingo's late version with Angela Gheorghiu lacks the white heat needed here.

Monserrat Caballe recorded a scene from Leoncavallo's Zazà, Mamma? lo non l'ho avuta mai; Mamma usciva di casa, that was issued on side four of the recording of I Pagliacci with Domingo in its LP version in 1972. I have not been so moved by anyone else in this music. To my knowledge this has not found its way to CD, but preferably this couple could have recorded the whole opera and made it work.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf recorded highlights from Arabella. Why not the whole opera?

What's on your list of should-have-beens?
 

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Furtwängler should have completed the rest of his studio Ring cycle for EMI with the Vienna Philharmonic. He died a few weeks after completing Die Walküre (in mono). The other three operas may have been done in stereo, depending on the timing, and it would have been awesome to get a stereo Furtwängler.

Carlos Kleiber should have recorded a lot more! And I wouldn't have objected if his father had lived longer, as well. Erich Kleiber gave us a Figaro in early (1955) stereo, at least.

And of course, Victor de Sabata. So much potential after that 1953 Tosca only for him to retire early after a heart attack. What a pity.
 

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The most obvious to me is a La Scala Macbeth with Callas and Gobbi. If De Sabata couldn't conduct, then it could be Serafin or Karajan, Di Stefano as MacDuff and Zaccaria as Banquo. What an opportunity missed!
 

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The first recital EMI had planned for Maria Callas was to take place in November 1952 while she was in London singing Norma. That never materialized and the recital was postponed until the period January 25th and February 5th 1953 in Firenze. The program was to consist of the following arias, conducted by Tullio Serafin:

Rossini: Una voce poco fa from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Variazoni from Armida
Aria from Il Turco in Italia
Aria from Semiramide
Selva Opaca from Guglielmo Tell
Meyerbeer: Ombra leggera from Dinorah
Gluck: Divinités du Styx from Alceste
Proch: Variazioni Deh torna mio ben
Thomas: Iomson Titania from Mignon
Delibes: Bell Song from Lakme

As it turned out, the recital was never recorded , but they did record Lucia di Lammermoor in Firenze that February, and I Puritani in March of that year. It's a pity that we never had a recital with Callas in the fullness of that fat voice. They did, however record some of those arias during the 1954 London sessions. Alas we never did get the Armida, Semiramide, Turco, Guglielmo Tell arias in her heyday. The Proch Serafin refused to countenance and the Gluck she only recorded in 1961 while not in pristine voice.
 

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Another "should have been" of course is the La Scala La Traviata, which shoud have been Callas, not Stella - and if Legge had ony waited a couple of years, it would have been. Or maybe they could have recorded it in 1955, then waited a couple of years to issue it, until Callas was free of the terms of her Cetra contract.

As it is, the Stella recording never sold well and gathered dust for years until Testament reissued it on CD. It now seems crazy of course that EMI never recorded Callas in one of her signature roles.
 

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Another "should have been" of course is the La Scala La Traviata, which shoud have been Callas, not Stella - and if Legge had ony waited a couple of years, it would have been. Or maybe they could have recorded it in 1955, then waited a couple of years to issue it, until Callas was free of the terms of her Cetra contract.

As it is, the Stella recording never sold well and gathered dust for years until Testament reissued it on CD. It now seems crazy of course that EMI never recorded Callas in one of her signature roles.
It's also a shame that Callas wasn't in that other EMI recording with Di Stefano and Gobbi, but with a different soprano. The Gavazzeni Butterfly. Yes, nobody can complain about De los Angeles and she was the more obvious choice at the time, but I wish Gedda and Boriello had been paired with her, just imagine act two with another classic Callas/Gobbi confontation.

Even stranger is why they chose Stella in their A cast Traviata when they realised they couldn't have Callas. They could have had De los Angeles and produced a classic studio recording of the opera (which in my opinion doesn't exist).

N.
 

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should have not done this
Callas was not a smoker, though she obviously had the occasional cigarette. She probably thought it looked cool for the photograph. You have to remember smoking didn't carry the same stigma it does now and the link between smoking and lung cancer had only recently been discovered.

You no doubt know that Caruso was a heavy smoker.
 
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It's also a shame that Callas wasn't in that other EMI recording with Di Stefano and Gobbi, but with a different soprano. The Gavazzeni Butterfly. Yes, nobody can complain about De los Angeles and she was the more obvious choice at the time, but I wish Gedda and Boriello had been paired with her, just imagine act two with another classic Callas/Gobbi confontation.

Even stranger is why they chose Stella in their A cast Traviata when they realised they couldn't have Callas. They could have had De los Angeles and produced a classic studio recording of the opera (which in my opinion doesn't exist).

N.
I'm probably alone in thinking that Gedda and Borriello are just fine on the Callas Butterfly. With lesser personalities, the opera becomes more than ever about Butterfly's inner torment. Gedda may not sound like a cad, but Pinkerton isn't a villain. He's just a thoughtless young man, who only realises the consequences of his dire behaviour when it's too late. You can find plenty of his type on American college campuses to this day.

De Los Angeles did of course record Violetta with Serafin in 1959 and one might ask why Callas wasn't on that recording. It wouldn't have had to be with La Scala forces. After all her 1959 Lucia di Lammermoor was recorded in London with the Philharmonia.
 

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De Los Angeles did of course record Violetta with Serafin in 1959 and one might ask why Callas wasn't on that recording. It wouldn't have had to be with La Scala forces. After all her 1959 Lucia di Lammermoor was recorded in London with the Philharmonia.
I've thought that too, as you well know a Callas Traviata was planned a number of times, but for various reasons it never came to pass. (I can't remember if there was an attempt for a Callas Traviata as early as '59, so perhaps De los Angeles was second choice.) I wouldn't want to be without any De los Angeles recording as she always brought a unique interpretation of great value to everything she sang. I'm afraid the presence of Stella in a number of Italian opera recordings of that period totally bemuses me. She's possibly my least favourite of the Italian sopranos singing at that time. I'd rate Tucci (who came a bit later), Gavazzi, Olivero, Mancini, Frazzoni and Petrella all above her. I can't imagine her in the role and I think she'd given it up by that point, but I think Schwarzkopf would even have been a better choice than the incredibly bland Stella.

N.
 

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I can't imagine her in the role and I think she'd given it up by that point, but I think Schwarzkopf would even have been a better choice than the incredibly bland Stella.

N.
Have you heard the Violetta/Germont duet with Schwarzkopf and Panerai? It's actually very impressive.
 

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Well I have now! Panerai fares better than she does, but she's still streets ahead of Stella!

I found the duet on YouTube, was it ever released commercially or on CD?

N.
It was recorded in 1953, but I don't know if it ever had a commercial release until it appeared in the Les Introuvables series. I was much more impressed with her performance than you appear to have been. I don't know how much of the duet is on youtube but the recording starts at Germont's entrance and continues for eighteen minutes, so is pretty much the whole of the duet.
 
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