Verdi: La Traviata - Callas, Di Stefano, Campolonghi; Mugnai. Mexico City, 1952


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  • In the early 1950s Mexico City was the place to be to hear the best Italian opera in the world, due in part to the residency of a young Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano. Callas's interpretation of Violetta would gain more depth, culminating in the legendary Lisbon Traviata from 1958, but from a vocal standpoint she would never surpass her achievements in Mexico City.
  • I have never in my life heard a soprano interpolate a high E-flat at the end of the Act II concertante, but in the hands of Maria Callas it still feels like an extension of the dramatic expression of that moment.
  • Giuseppe Di Stefano's career followed the same trajectory as Callas, with their vocal primes (and subsequent declines) in lockstep. Like Callas, Di Stefano is in very fresh voice without any sense of the strain or vocal over-exertion that would later mar his performances and curtail his career.


  • In contrast to the brilliance of the lead singers, the rest of the forces leave a lot to be desired, particularly the haphazard work of the chorus.

Maria Callas sings "Addio del passato" from La Traviata
Lisboa, 1958

In Mono

OD 12010-2