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Great Opera Tenors: Franco Corelli
Mario Sereni, Giuseppe Verdi, Pietro Mascagni
Great Opera Tenors: Franco Corelli
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2


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CD Reviews

Corelli sang his best live in 1962 Gli Ugonotti
Hwan | Salem, MA USA | 07/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The live recording of Meyerbeer's Gli Ugonotti(Les Hugenotts) may hold Corelli's finest singing, ever. Read this,
The 1962 live recording of Gli Ugonotti at La Scala Milan may very well be the most impressive display of verisimo singing ever recorded. That sounds like I'm exaggerating, but I am NOT. Corelli saved every ounce of his formidable energy for days just to sing this Hugenotts. He is aware that the role of Raoul is the most taxing role in the tenor reportoire, rivaled only by Rossini's "William Tell". He also is aware that he will have to battle his duets with a mezzo named Simionato who has the range of a high soprano the size of a Brunhilde. Added to that, Corelli wants to make sure the reviews will promote him as the star of the show. He knows that a new superstar in the name of La Stupenda is the toast of the opera world and all eyes are on her. He wants to make sure that He is the talk of La Scala and the World in this impossible to sing opera.
Well, he got his wish. He sang the best he's ever sang, holding on to high notes for as long as seven to ten seconds(I'm talking Bs, Cs, and Ds). Corelli's high D puts all tenors to shame, and when unveils it, he holds it, bursting with power and squillo to force all other tenors to take up nitting. And in Hugenotts he has lots of opportunities to hit notes B and above. High Cs are common here. And he excells in them. The surprise of the evening is the awesome high notes of Simionato. I think she hit a D flat. I can't tell because my piano says D flat, but not quite. Perhaps higher than a C but the slightest bit flatter than a D flat. But she really nails the note. She also matches the high Bs that are held for about five minutes per notes in the phenomenal "Grand Duet". This is, as one famous critic said it, " perhaps the greatest verisimo singing on record".
But Corelli did not prevent the Italian papers from raving about La Stupenda's Queen. Yes, Corelli got his share of rave reviews about him being the Caruso of the day. And his ovations are overwhelming, to say the least. But it was Sutherland who got 28 curtain calls for her Queen. La Stupenda sang dramatic coloratura such as La Scala had never heard since the days of Malibran and Grisi. She throws around so many high Cs and Ds and Es that one critic lost track. The coloratura tricks are instrumental in its dead on precision. And the trills are toss off as if they were nothing. This is the greatest coloratura soprano in the world, perhaps of all time.
All in all, this Hugenotts is Golden Age singing of the highest caliber. Truly one of the greatest evening in operatic history.
And at this price, it is not only essential, but necessary.
Oh, yes, and the sound is pretty good. Expect 1962 vintage live recording sound, which is acceptable."
The very definition of a great dramatic tenor...
Rachel Howard | ocklawaha, Florida United States | 08/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Franco Corelli was an exciting singer, with a virile, manly voice and a very original, personal approach to singing. That he was basically self-taught is well known, and that fact dogged him throughout his career. Critics loved to heap insults on Franco Corelli, forgetting all the while that he was one of the most incredible voices ever to stride across an opera stage. I've heard a fair number of his roles, and Franco Corelli never once bored me. He seemed to me to live his characters. When Corelli sang Faust, my ears heard Faust, not just some big, handsome Italian stud mouthing the words. This singer gave meaning to all the words, not just the high notes. (Singers like that bore me.) This collection is well rounded and shows him in excellent voice throughout. There are some unusual choices here, at first sight, for Corelli. Ombra Mai Fu is just not a song I think of easily when thinking about this man's singing, but he does a fine job with it. The religious numbers show a soul deeply concerned with spiritual matters and an abiding respect and affection for God. That is the impression I get, anyway, and they help point out his versatility. If you ever get a chance to hear him sing Calaf from Turandot (Assuming you've been living on Mars and have not heard him!), then take any opportunity to do so. Nessun Dorma is here to tantalize you while thrilling you. Also, and this is no small matter, Corelli had one of the few voices that could go toe-to-toe with Birgit Nilsson and come out unscathed- in live performance, on stage, in front of thousands of people. Technically, Franco Corelli was not at the top of the heap, but he was no slouch, either. His diminuendos were spectacular and justly famous, though there is a little technical hanky-panky with his final B-flat in the Romeo and Juliette aria. He takes the note and does fine it down to a hair himself, but some dingaling added a fade where none was needed. I have it on good authority that Franco Corelli was NOT a fake and certainly did NOT need idiotic studio hocus-pocus!I have great respect for Franco Corelli and miss his presence mightily. I will not try to insult modern day tenors by saying they are nothing compared to this Golden Age quality voice. That is not true- Ben Heppner is an enormous talent (In more ways than one!, but Corelli really was one-of-a-kind and his rivals seem to be nowhere in sight."
Clearly the greatest tenor of our era
David "still learning" | 06/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"He is the King. No tenor has the quality, size, and technique and beauty of the great Corelli.
I have a recommendation. Buy the Meyerbeer Gli Ugonotti he recorded live for La Scala and hear the most phenomenal display of verisimo singing of the XX Century. As a bonus, you also get the young Sutherland who display the female version of a vocal miracle. Sutherland and Corelli on the same stage in 1962. In my opinion, one of the greatest cd sets available. Try it."