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Elena Suliotis, Piero Cappuccilli, et al., vocal soloists/Orchestra & Chorus of La Scala, Milan/Gianandrea Gavazzeni, conductor
This performance, recorded live at the La Scala opera house in Milan on February 13, 1968, is the only recording of this opera ever issued with complete libretto at mid-price. Alfredo Catalani (1854–1893) was long ignored internationally among the numerous Italian opera composers of the late nineteenth century. In recent years Catalani has become more familiar with a revival of interest in his masterpiece, La Wally, one aria from which has always had currency and which achieved even wider fame in recent years from its use in films and commercials. This has led to further explorations, including a revival of Catalani’s nextbest stage work, Loreley, the first of his operas to attract attention outside of Italy. Like La Wally, Loreley has always had one excerpt which has kept the opera’s title in circulation, the atmospheric “Dance of the Ondine” (also known as “Dance of the Water Spirits”) from Act III, occasionally heard in concert programs and on recordings of light Romantic orchestral music. Greek soprano Elena Suliotis was a musical “comet” whose first appearances in the late 1960s caused considerable critical excitement— a voice, the New York Times said, with “the potential for greatness.” After a short career, Suliotis developed vocal problems and her career was truncated. This is one of the rare recordings preserving that short period of vocal splendor that has become a modern legend.
“This 1968 performance certainly makes a strong case for the opera, with a fine cast and conductor, pulling out all the stops … there is much here to admire and enjoy … Suliotis was a fascinating singer … the Scala forces, under the inspired direction of Gianandrea Gavazzeni, play beautifully.” — OPERA NEWS
Ilustration © Rafal Olbinski,
Courtesy of Patinae Inc.