Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur - Olivero, Simionato, Corelli, Bastianini; Rossi. Napoli, 1959
Listen to a Sample:
It is very fitting that we are releasing this just a few weeks after the 100th birthday of Magda Olivero and a few days short of the (would- be) centenary of the great Giulietta Simionato who has just left us. Olivero was perhaps the greatest exponent of this role in its history. In fact it was Cilea himself who urged her to come out of retirement in the early fifties to sing this role. No one could manage the crescendo from fil di voce to forte at the end of "Ecco, respiro appenna" like she could. Giulietta Simionato is a great foil for the leading lady. She explodes onto the stage for "Acerba voluttà" with guttural chest tones the likes of which have never been heard since. And did I mention that it also features a tenor by the name of Franco Corelli and a baritone by the name of Ettore Bastianini? I have heard that this performance was aired on television much like the famous Forza with Tebaldi and Corelli. Talk about a priceless artifact! The sound is very good.