Puccini: Manon Lescaut - Olivero, Domingo, Fioravanti; Santi. Verona, 1970
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The Arena di Verona is one of the largest opera venues in the world and the experience of viewing an opera there can feel quite removed. That surely was not the case when this performance of Manon Lescaut took place as Placido Domingo and Magda Olivero seemed moved to a level of intensity that could have surely filled two arenas. Despite the fact that Olivero was nearing 60, she is perfectly convincing as a 20 year old and brings both exquisite subtlety and gut-wrenching pathos to the title part. Plácido Domingo seems inspired to new heights and throws himself into a part he would later describe as the most difficult Puccini tenor role he ever sang, with almost reckless abandon. Nello Santi manages to inspire the players to create a rich orchestral sound particularly from the string section. This is truly Italian opera at its best. The sound is very good.
Magda Olivero sings arias from La Wally, Mefistofele, Medea and Jenufa