Donizetti: L'Elisir d'amore - Di Stefano, Scotto, Fioravanti, Vinco; Gavazzeni. Bergamo, 1961
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When you think of Giuseppe Di Stefano, you probably don’t think of comedy, but he proves in this performance of L’Elisir d’amore that he was a Nemorino to be reckoned with. Di Stefano’s approach is different from other tenors in this role that I have heard. He was always great at making the suffering of a character so palpable that as a listener you almost couldn’t help but experience it with him and even though Nemorino is far from a tragic role, Di Stefano instantly draws you in by conveying the frustrated love he feels for Adina. And with an Adina like Renata Scotto it is hard not to see why he would be smitten. Scotto, still in her twenties, bubbles with charm, demonstrating an understanding of bel canto well beyond her years. Ivo Vinco brings more basso than buffo to the role of Dulcamara giving the character a slickness that works very well to his advantage. Gianandrea Gavazzeni’s tempos are a little slow for my taste but he supports the singers well through the long bel canto phrases.