Massenet: Thaïs - Gomez, McKinney, Egerton; Delacôte. Wexford, 1974

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This performance from the Wexford festival belongs to the little-known baritone Thomas McKinney, in the showy role of Athanaël. McKinney has a lovely, supple instrument that he uses incredibly intelligently and with great attention to detail. He is fully committed to his portrayal of the deranged priest, and never sounds less than beautiful. He is exactly what this role calls for. Jill Gomez’ Thaïs fades into the background a bit when opposite him, but she more than holds her own in the role’s challenging heights, floating effortlessly above the ensembles of Act I and plunging into despair for the Act II confrontation. Francis Egerton, a Covent Garden stalwart, gets a nice showing here as the playboy Nicias. The sound is excellent.

OD 11306-2

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