Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani - Deutekom, Bonisolli, Glossop, Raimondi; Santi. Paris, 1974
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It seems slightly odd that the Paris Opera would present the Italian version of I Vespri Siciliani as opposed to the French version. Nonetheless, this is a fine performance which features the great Cristina Deutekom as Elena, a role that almost seems written for her. Deutekom's unique vocal blend of steel and agility made her ideal for early Verdi. If one wishes for a little more presence in her lower range she more than makes up for it with her gleaming, and seemingly endless top. This performance finds Franco Bonisolli at the height of his powers. His voice was starting to take on a more heroic quality and he hadn't yet adopted some of the puzzling mannerisms that would mar his later performances. Peter Glossop and Ruggero Raimondi are also in fine form as Guido and Procida respectively. Nello Santi brings an old-world, Italianate sensibility to the podium. The sound is generally good although there is a rough patch at the opening chorus of Act V.