Dear Niel Rishoi and list
(snip re Divina Records issue of Callas Trieste Norma material)
>It is appropriate place here, for a Callas question: browsing recently in a media shop, I came
across the >Callas section of LPs, and there was a collection, a set of 20 LPs (priced at $7
apiece), all numbered, >and on an Italian label called "Gli Dei Della Musica," of all-live Callas
material, selections from operas >and concerts, of her greatest moments. (There's even one called
"Callas & Tebaldi - Un Confronto") >The packaging is of a kind and standard which I have never
seen before: they are all in gold, with >painstakingly hand-painted photos on the covers. The LPs
are gate-fold style, with complete Italian >lyrics, plot, and historical notes: to boot, tucked
inside EACH slot, which houses the LP itself, is a >deluxe 16 page booklet, jam-packed with rare
photos, reviews and extensive notes - on high quality, >shiny paper, too. The LPs themselves looked
to be professionally made, nothing of that "pirate" quality >about them at all. The selections
chosen on each one were of Callas's best moments, as I recall. >Needless to say, I was stunned at
this collection, which I've never heard of or seen before. Finally, to >the question: has anyone
ever seen or owned these? When were they put out?
Yes, I Saw this series when on holiday in Italy and, in fact, Imust have bought at least 4 of them
still have four of the sixteen-page booklets. As I recall it, they were NOT distributed through the
normal record shop outlets, but instead were sold in newspaper kiosks etc. They were issued at
regular (monthly?) intervals. I think they must be regarded as 'pirated' as my recollection is that
material was exclusively 'live'.
As to the date of issue, I cant be precise, but I would guess somewhere between 1975 to 1982: I say
this because I can picture now the place in Forte dei Marmi (near Viareggio) where I bought at least
of the series and we took our summer holiday in that area for 8 consecutive years ending in 1982.
I also recall susequently seeing the entire series in a shrink-wrapped box set of LPs at a record-
near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and (so my memory tells me) being surprised how much more
expensive they were per disc compared to the price I had paid in Italy..
In CD days, the same method of disribution seems to have continued in Italy:although I haven't
anything first-hand, I have made quite a few second-hand or 'bin' purchases: for example, I have the
1960 Vienna Chenier (Corelli,Tebaldi) on a label 'Opera' and the disc label states 'Non in Vendita:
10a - Supplimento al n.10 di 'Opera'. It is clear from the packaging that they were wrapped with an
accompanying booklet. Publisher was Fabbri Editori in 1993.
regards to all
Brian Morris (London,England)
(snip re Encore recordings)