Bellini: La Straniera - Souliotis, Luchetti, Savarese, Zilio; de Fabritiis. Catania, 1971
Listen to a Sample:
Elena Souliots, much like the goddess of her ancestral homeland, burst onto the scene in her early twenties seemingly a fully formed artist. Sadly the enormous promise that she exhibited did not materialize and her voice could not keep up with the demands of the dramatic repertoire. This performance came towards the twilight of her career. Although the voice is certainly diminished from a few years previous, claims that her voice was ruined are greatly exaggerated. If you can objectively separate the voice on this recording from the brilliance of her early years you will hear a performance that is still wonderful. She conveys the mystery and exoticism of "The foreign lady" exquisitely and although her voice buckles under pressure at times she can still spin elegant Bellini lines that any soprano in her prime would admire. In the end I made the choice while listening not to consider what could have been or what was but what is. And that was truly spectacular even with the flaws. The sound is very good.