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Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Giacomo Puccini, Nicola Rescigno, San Carlo Theater Orchestra & Chorus (Naples)
Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2

"Although the term `legendary' is all too frequently coined, its usage is both appropriate and justified when describing Magda Olivero. She was an unorthodox soprano whose career--notwithstanding various interruptions--spa...  more »

      
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All Artists: Giacomo Puccini, Nicola Rescigno, San Carlo Theater Orchestra & Chorus (Naples), Aldo Giannini, Annamaria Borrelli, Fernanda Cadoni, Magda Olivero, Mariano Caruso, Mario Carleo, Mario Cioffi, Mario Zanasi, Renato Cioni
Title: Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Opera D'oro
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 9/9/2008
Genre: Classical
Style: Opera & Classical Vocal
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 723721377755

Synopsis

Album Description
"Although the term `legendary' is all too frequently coined, its usage is both appropriate and justified when describing Magda Olivero. She was an unorthodox soprano whose career--notwithstanding various interruptions--spanned over half a century, from 1932 to 1990." -- Opera Quarterly

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CD Reviews

Uniquely moving Butterfly
Shaun Greenleaf | San Francisco | 01/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First the bad news: this live Naples performance from 1961 is in very murky, distant sound, with a persistent low-pitch hum. I can reccommend this heartily to collectors with experience of air-checks of this vintage, but honestly the sound is quite poor even by those standards. For that reason I cannot give this issue 5 stars. This is, as far as I have been able to discover, Olivero's only extant Cio-Cio San, and she is relatively young here; she sang another 20 years at least, and never sang a routine performance in her life. Here, she gives what I believe is the best acted, and best-sung Butterfly in my experience, Callas, Scotto, et al not excepted. There are echoes of the Italian "little girl" Butterfly tradition from time to time, although never as extreme as Toti Dal Monte's. It would be impossible to describe Olivero's many exquisite details, but let me mention just one: when she sings the 2nd Act phrase "Ah, m'ha scordata!" she produces a vibrant, finely-controlled, narrow tone of great power and beauty, but when she descends to the lower pitch at the end of the line sha allows the tone to shatter into the chest voice. I've heard this opera countless times, but never heard this line so movingly sung, or with such astonishing control, or to such poignant dramatic purpose. Such interpretive details are abundant throughout. Cioni, normally a rather lumpish tenor, is here inspired by his partner to great attention to dynamics, producing much lovely mezza voce singing as well as a clear, clarion tone of considerable heft and beauty. He has a struggle with the unison high note at the end of the love duet, but everywhere else he is in a state of grace. Zanasi is an excellent Scarpia, and Rescigno here reveals himself as a verismo conductor of great authority and stature. The enthusiastic Naples audience is very much a presence, interrupting with frequent applause and shouts of appreciation. It is all quite wonderful. There will be many who simply will not be able to hear much of it trhough the fog, but if experience and patince with old recordings has given you that ability, don't miss this truly great "Butterfly"."