Verdi: Aida - Cruz-Romo, Dunn, Bergonzi, Mastromei; Mackerras. London, 1973
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This Aida represents an interesting mix of cultures and vocal styles, but coalescences in a satisfying and at times thrilling experience. The most veteran Verdian of the cast is Carlo Bergonzi who brings all of his style and grace to a role that all too often falls into the hands of tenors who are only interesting in displaying the dramatic nature of their voices. Bergonzi paints with a finer brush, displaying the sensitive side of Radamès without shortchanging the bravura that makes this part so exciting. Gilda Cruz-Romo delivers an Aida that is equally remarkable for its dramatic impact as well as stylistic nuance. Cruz-Romo’s top, in particular, is gleaming and she relishes every opportunity to linger on notes that intimidate other singer (and even great singers.) Mignon Dunn’s hysterical Amneris is low on nuance but high on excitement. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kiri Te Kanawa’s ethereal priestess. Special kudos must go to Charles Mackerras’ thoughtful yet sincere interpretation. The recording is in excellent stereo sound.