Verdi: Attila - Van Dam, Janowitz, Wixell, Tagliavini; Patanè. Berlin, 1971
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Attila may be not the greatest early Verdi opera, but with the right cast it can be a lot of fun. It contains all of Verdi's calling cards, including beautiful melodies, exciting cabalettas and stirring choruses. This performance features mostly non-Italian singers. Jose van Dam assumes the title role and sings and acts superbly. Perhaps the only criticism one can have about him is that his voice is a shade too suave to play the Hun convincingly. Gundula Janowitz seems surprisingly comfortable in the role of Odabella. Her voice may lack the weight of a true Verdi soprano, but it still possesses agility that helps her navigate the florid passages seamlessly from her lower to upper ranges. Ingvar Wixell is an elegant Ezio and Franco Tagliavini does an admirable job as Foresto. All in all a very enjoyable performance. The sound is fair but listenable.