Verdi: Aida - Gencer, Simionato, Limarilli, Guefli, Giaiotti; Serafin. Verona, 1963 (No Act IV)
Listen to a Sample:
- A lot of Aidas have come my way, but this one truly stands out in almost every aspect.
- Leyla Gencer is in absolute top form in the title role, alternating seamlessly between gutsy full-throated singing, and exquisitely delicate vocalism.
- Giulietta Simionato is a tour-de-force as Amneris.
- Giangiacomo Guelfi is equally stunning as Amonasro, unabashedly sitting on high notes (perhaps beyond the limits of good taste) to the delight of the audience.
- Tullio Serafin favors slower tempi, but clearly leads from the heart.
- Believe it or not, the chorus offers some of the best singing of the evening, delivering laser accuracy and crystal-clear Italian diction.
- Tragically, the last act was rained out, depriving the audience of Simionato's chance to dig into the Judgement Scene. For the sake of continuity, I have included Act IV from a performance featuring Leontyne Price and Simionato.