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Subject: New Gala Adriana: Caballe, Domingo
From: Michael Giuseffi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Michael Giuseffi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:20:02 -0400
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     RUN to buy this new Gala release which I bought for $9.99 today at
     Record Explosion in New York. I read about this performance yesterday
     on the list, and couldn't wait. I must refute yesterday's poster who
     claimed that the sound was just okay. Honey, I don't know what you
     expected but this is one of the best sounding live recordings I've
     ever heard. It is obviously an FM stereo broadcast, and frankly, the
     sound is better by far than the current Met broadcasts.

     The bulk of the cast (no pun intended):

     Adriana: Montserrrat Caballe
     Maurizio: Placido Domingo
     Principessa di Boullion: Janet Coster
     Michonnet: Attilio D'Orazi
     Choeurs National & Orchestre Lyrique de
     Radio France

     Paris 1975

     Conductor: Gianfranco Masini

     First off let me say that you have to love indulgent Italian opera and
     VERY indulgent Italian singing to love this performance. Given that,
     we have a gem here. I admit I am a sucker for this work, say what you
     will.

     Caballe enters to a nice little ovation and proceeds to a very slow
     and luxurious "Io son l'umile ancella".  The last three top notes of
     which are, of course, done piannissimo. The last one on the "Moro" she
     pulls off a messa di voce that garners a thunderous applause. My only
     quibble is that she sings "Mooo", no "r" consonant, but that was
     Montsy.

     Domingo's "La dolcissima effigie" is wonderful too, with passion to
     spare, there appears to be just a touch of tightness this night for
     him along the way, but all the top notes are there. His voice does
     catch though on the first "bella tu sei".

     One excerpt for the ages is Caballe's "Giusto Cielo" in Act 3. My God
     she spits it out!  I imagine there wasn't a piece of scenery unchewed.
     I had to listen to this three times and got the chills each time. Buy
     the disc for this scene alone! If you are an opera queen this will be
     mother's milk to you I promise.

     One minimal caveat about the cast is the slightly under-powered mezzo
     of Janet Coster. The "acerba volutta" takes her to the limit of her
     abilities, but she manages some good chest tones along the way.

     Based on the above, you can guess what the rest of the opera is like.
     So I won't repeat myself.

     Go buy this one.

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