Listen to a Sample:
This performance marks the onset of one great career and the twilight of another. The newcomer is Cristina Deutekom. Discovered and fostered by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Walter Legge, she would be one of the few singers in the history of opera that sang both the Queen of the Night and Norma. Her voice has amazing agility and is unstoppable on top. Unfortunately, as Mario Del Monaco's career advanced his voice lost its sensual quality and became more and more mannered. That is not to say that there aren't moments where his brilliance shines through and it is no small feet singing this role at any stage in ones career let alone the end. Mirella Parutto is fresh from having switched from soprano to mezzo and although the duet with Norma is sung in key she leaves out the high Cs. The sound is very good.