PUCCINI: La Fanciulla del West
Renata Tebaldfi (Minnie). Gian Giacomo Guelfi (Jack Rance. Daniele Barioni (Dick Johnson). Piero De Palma Dick. Carlo Cava (Ashby).RAI Chorus and Orch/Arturo Basile, cond.
WALHALL CD 0355 (2 dsks)
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OONCHIELLI: La Gioconda
Lucille Ludovich (Giodonda). Mignon Dunn (Lura). Luisa Bartoletti (La Cieca). Flaviano Labo (Grimaldo). Aldo Protti (Barnaba). Chorus and Orcherstra of Teatro Colòn/Carlo Felice Ciullario, cond.
OYCCINI: Act I of Madama Butterfly
Flaviano Labo (Pinkerton). Antonietta Stells (Butterfly). Giuseppe Taddei ( DISLTORTION1111111
WALHALL CD 0307 (3 disks)
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FOUNOS: Romeo and Juliet
Alain Vanzo (Romeo). Huguette Riviere (Juliet), Jacques Mars (Friar Laurent. Hebri Perrotte (Mercutio). Jane Berrbié (Stephano).Radio Lyrica Chporus and Orch/Pierre=Michelle Le Conte, cond.
WALHALL CD 0356 (2 disks)
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Here are three gems for opera enthusiasts The Girl of the Golden West was one of Renata Tebhaldi's signaturet roles, and collectors treasure her 1856 Decca recording. This live Italian Radio broadcast dates from June 26, 1961 with a sterling cast and Arturo Basile on the podium. An exciting performance indeed, and the mono sound is excellent

Ever since its premiere at La Scala in 1876,La Gioconda has been a challenge for sopranos, one of the most demanding and few have been able to sing it successfully. Giannina Aragal-Lombardi made the first recording in1931 (available on NAXOSm followed by Mara Callas in 1956, Zinka Milanov in 19957, the same year Anita Cerquette made hers. In 1958 Camas made her second recording abd ub In 1967 Renata Tebaldi made her recording, and in 1980 Montserrat Caballé made hers followed by Eva Marton a year later. One of the greatest interpreters of the title role was Rosa Ponselle who unfortunately did not make a complete recording. Deborah Voiught took a stab at it at Teatro Liceu Barcelona in 2005 (REVIEW)). Here we have a Buenos Aires broadcast from 1960 featuring Lucille Udovich, American soprano born in Colorado (1930-1999). She spent most of her time in Rome and because of back injuries had to retire from singing. She is a powerful, secure singer who unfortunately made few recordings, so this Gioconda is particularly welcome, although it previously was available on another label. Grand singing throughout Don't miss ut, Also investigate the video if a 1958 Turandot in which she sings the title role to Franco Corelli's Calaf (RTEVIEW).A welcome bonus filling out this new release is Act I of Madama Butterfly from a Buenos Aires in 1958 featuring Stella Roman as a perfect Butterfly with Flaviano Labó as Pinkerton - a terrific performance, although audio quality leaves much to be desired. No texts or program notes.

This performance of Gounod's Romeo and Juliet was recorded live in December 1960 in Paris, and is an exemplary performance of this music. The cast includes some of the top French singers of the time. A considerable bonus is excepts from the opera recorded in Paris in December of 1953. The cast includes Janine Micheu, Georges N Noré, and Pierre Mollet, with Jules Gressier on the podium. Essential for collectors!.

R.E.B. December 205)