Puccini: Tosca - Kabaivanska, Pavarotti, Glossop; Stapleton. London, 1977
Listen to a Sample:
This Tosca is a testament to the influence of the company you keep… Luciano Pavarotti was renowned more for his glorious tenor than his acting abilities. But on this occasion, paired with the dynamic Raina Kabaivanska as Tosca, he musters an intensity that I have never heard from him, singing a performance that is both exquisitely sung as well as surprisingly hot-blooded. Kabaivanska delivers a nuanced performance that brought to my mind the great Magda Olivero. The demands of the role don’t seem to faze her in the slightest, and even though hers was a slender voice, she can deliver power when it is needed. What is perhaps more remarkable is the consideration she gives to each word. No phrase, no matter how short, is denied her full artistic attention. Peter Glossop inspires plenty of fear as Scarpia even if his voice is slightly past its prime. Robin Stapleton evokes remarkable lyricism from the orchestra even encouraging them to use the occasional portamento. The sound is good although you may be able to make out the faint strains of Don Giovanni at the top of the show.