Ponchielli: La Gioconda - Rysanek, Tagliavini, Randová, Paskalis, Little, Patanè. Berlin, 1974
Listen to a Sample:
Leonie Rysanek waited a good while before tackling the role of Gioconda, but it was well worth the wait. By the mid to late seventies her voice had a wild abandon which made her thrilling in roles like Salome while maintaining the core of her technique for roles that required more finesse like Medea. Her technical prowess gave her license to throw herself into a part in way that no other singer I have heard was capable of without fear of her voice falling apart. To see her live was to witness a woman who was possessed and if at times she went over the top it was a small price to pay in contrast to the calculated, sterile performers that grace the world stages today. The rest of the cast is sturdy at best with the exception being the Laura of Eva Randová. The sound is excellent.