Bellini: I Puritani - Callas, Di Stefano, Campolonghi, Silva; Picco. Mexico City, 1952
Listen to a Sample:
If the lines between "Callas the Myth" and "Callas the Artist" have become slightly blurry for you over the years, I recommend picking up this recording. From a vocal standpoint, it is simply astonishing that a voice her size could be as comfortable in this kind of repertoire. Her coloratura is so precise in "Son vergin vezzosa" one could take melodic dictation from it. As the opera progresses she begins to treat us to the opulence of her sound which, in 1952, was free of the mannerisms of her later years. She is joined by her frequent partner-in-crime, Giuseppe Di Stefano who sings with equal ardor even in the face of enormous technical challenges for a tenor. The question is, has there ever been a pair of singers since who have given this level of dramatic credibility to a bel canto opera? The sound is very good.