Puccini: La Boheme / Sayao, Tucker

Album cover art for upc 190758107424
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
Catalog: 19075810742
Format: CD

TUCKER SAYAO ANTONICELLI CHORUS & ORCHESTRA OF THE METROPOLITAN OPERA ASSOCIATION

Sony Classical announces a further batch of complete recordings from the CBS/Sony and RCA Victor catalogues. The newest installment of this popular series features some unusual repertoire as well as documents of the New York Metropolitan Opera in its postwar heyday. Puccini’s La Bohème from 1947 is a classic “Old Met company” performance, starring the leading American tenor of the day, Richard Tucker, as Rodolfo and the delightful Brazilian soprano Bidú Sayão as Mimì. Tucker had sung his first Rodolfo only a month before, but, as Gramophone observed, “he sounds like part of a team, each member of which knows this opera and this production of it inside out. He is in fine, youthful, effortlessly produced voice and his line is immaculately sustained, never broken by histrionics. All the others are first-class ensemble singers but the star, undoubtedly, is Bidú Sayão. Her voice has great charm and touching purity, she sings expressively but never overdoes her acting, and the intimacy of her portrayal, which makes the last act so moving, is perhaps surprising from a soprano who had sung this role so often in such a huge auditorium. … [Conductor Giuseppe] Antonicelli’s control of rubato is admirable, the fruit no doubt of having worked with these singers in these roles so often.”

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