Cherubini: Medea - Callas, Barbieri, Guichandut, Tucci, Petri; Gui. Firenze, 1953


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Maria Callas was successful in bringing back many bel canto gems to the operatic repertoire, but one opera she championed that has unfortunately fallen back into somewhat obscurity is Medea. Hearing this performance from 1953 it occurred to me that her portrayal is so complete, so raw, so vocally masterful that is quite likely that the reason for its recent neglect is that no soprano would ever want to try to fill those mythical shoes. Callas is magnetic from her first entrance to her final triumphant moments when Giasone has learned that she has just killed her children. Vocally she is stupendous, finding an intelligent balance between the classical nature of the vocal writing and the primal quality of the libretto, emerging at the end more animal than woman. She is well supported by Fedora Barbieri who is mesmerizing in her aria “Solo un pianto con te versare”, and Gabriella Tucci as Glauce. The sounds is very good for the era.

OD 11180-2