Verdi: Aida - Galvany, Stapp, Bondino, Opthof; Barbini. Winnepeg, 1975
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This recording features two great American singers who left very few documents of their brilliance. Marissa Galvany's voice was in a fach all its own. She had a powerful chest voice that might lead you to believe that she was a mezzo as well as a top that had no trouble interpolating fearless high e flats into roles like Abigaille or Odabella. Her voice may not have been classically Italianate but she had a good understanding of the Italian style plus a technique that served her in even the most difficult of Verdi roles. Olivia Stapp, although a soprano by trade, sings Amneris. Her voice was certainly the more Italianate of the two and her fiery temperament helps to yield a very exciting performance. One can also hear the power in her voice which would lead her to roles like Elektra. Rugghero Bondino is decent as Radamès although I have to assume that the only thing Italian about him is his name as his pronunciation is pretty bad. Cornelius Opthof, another remarkable singer whose career was centralized in the regional companies of the U.S. as well as City Opera, is an excellent Amonasro. The sound is very good.