Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors (In Italian) - Simionato, Cordova, Lazzari, Capecchi, Corena; Stokowski. Firenze, 1952
Listen to a Sample:
Although born in Italy, Gian Carlo Menotti always considered himself an American composer. However, hearing this performance of Amahl and the Night Visitors sung in Italian does a lot to reveal his roots. To say that Giulietta Simionato is luxury casting as the mother is an understatement. For an opera that is overwhelmingly mounted in church basements and other humble venues, it is refreshing to hear a great singer in this role and does a lot to show Menotti's genius. The cast also includes Agostino Lazzari, Renato Capecchi and Fernando Corena as a triumvirate of truly regal Magi. It is conducted by no other than Leopold Stokowski. The recording also includes an interview with Menotti, in English, about mounting this particular performance. There is a substantial amount of material cut out of this performance (all sanctioned by Menotti as revealed in the interview.) I have filled out the rest of the CD with arias by Simionato
Giulietta Simionato sings rarities from her repertoire.