Verdi: Otello - Del Monaco, Tucci, Gobbi; Erede. Tokyo, 1959
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Tokyo was truly a hub of opera in the 50s and 60s. Although they did not necessarily produce their own singers they went to great lengths to import some of the greatest performers of the day and, thankfully, left wonderful documents of these performances. This recording is one such document and it captures, in excellent sound, the great Mario Del Monaco in his signature role of Otello. For those who say that he only had two vocal dynamics, forte and fortissimo, they should listen to his "Dio, mi potevi." The opening lines are delivered with a hollow transparency depicting a truly broken man. Tito Gobbi was nearing the end of his career in 1959 but if some of the glamour of his younger days was missing he still had good control over his vocal apparatus, managing the As in the drinking song with ease. Gabriella Tucci is a heavenly Desdemona. The sound is excellent.