Rosa Ponselle (January 22, 1897 – May 25, 1981), was an American operatic soprano with a large, opulent voice. She sang mainly at the New York Metropolitan Opera and is generally considered by music critics to have been one of the greatest sopranos of the past 100 years.
She was born Rosa Ponzillo on January 22, 1897, in Meriden, Connecticut, the youngest of three children. The family lived on the city's west side in a neighborhood chiefly populated by immigrants from the south of Italy, first at the corner of Lewis Avenue and Bartlett Street, then on Foster Street, where…
Verdi at the Met captures the drama of Verdi's greatest operas as they were performed live at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. These ten recordings cover four decades starting with La Traviata in 1935 and feature some of the best-loved voices and conductors of the twentieth century. The famous pairing of tenor Richard Tucker and baritone Leonard Warren can be heard in Simon Boccanegra and La Forza del Destino.
It is appropriate that the first recording of the first version of Forza should come from St Petersburg, where the work had its premiere in 1862. However, whilst the premiere was predominantly an Italian affair, this set is given entirely by Russian artists. The differences between this version and Verdi's 1869 revision for La Scala are marked: they are delineated by two essays in the accompanying booklet but even more discerningly in Julian Budden's indispensable The Operas of Verdi (in this case Vol. 2, Cassell: 1978). So it isn't necessary for me to rehearse here all the changes (even if I had the space to do so), only the main ones.
Miss Sutherland has always been stimulated to special efforts when Miss Horne is working with her, and those two women provide a team unique in the bel canto literature as practiced today. Harold C. Schonberg, New York Times, 5.III.1970.
"Ponselle and his friends recognize the vintage quality of the work and, like everything else here, perform it splendidly. An outstanding release." -Gramophone
Maria Callas (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the twentieth century. She combined an impressive bel canto technique with great dramatic gifts. An extremely versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini, and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, the music dramas of Wagner. Her remarkable musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.