Puccini: Turandot - Shuard, Prevedi, Kabaivanska, Rouleau, Glossop; Downes. London, 1963
Listen to a Sample:
I am sure that in 1963 this performance of Turandot would have seemed like business as usual to a public spoiled by greats like Birgit Nilsson and Franco Corelli. By today’s standards, however, this could easily be an opening night cast of a new production at La Scala or the Met. Amy Shuard’s Turandot was unique, in my opinion. She had all of the high notes required of this role, but her Turandot was more than just steel and ice. There is a warmth to her portrayal which even comes through in ”In questa reggia”. This softer approach goes a long way to make the character more sympathetic. Bruno Prevedi is a sturdy Calàf even if the lyric nature of his instrument diminishes his stature when standing next to Shuard. The revelation of the evening is the sparkling Liù or Raina Kabaivanska who embodies all of the character’s innocence and strength brilliantly. It is also worth noting that this performance is complete - a rarity for the time. The sound is fair to good.