Compilation: Irene Dalis Recital - Arias from Semiramide, Giulio Cesare, Carmen, Tristan, Samson et Dalila, Jenufa and more


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Sadly few people remember the name Irene Dalis these days. Despite having been the go-to mezzo-soprano for decades at the Met, participating in the debuts of Leontyne Price, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo and Birgit Nilsson, Dalis never had an agent who might have angled for a recording contract that would have assured her deserved spot in the pantheon of great singers. This recording is one of the few studio recordings she ever made, and even though it has excerpts from Verdi and Wagner, it also has some selections that you would never expect from a dramatic voice, for example “Bel raggio lusinghier” from Semiramide, “V’adoro pupille” from Giulio Cesare, excerpts from Carmen (a role that oddly enough she never sang) and even “Caro mio ben.” What is doubly shocking is that she is just as comfortable in the lighter repertoire as she is in the Verdi and Wagner. Her “Bel raggio lusinghier” is particularly astonishing for the precision of her coloratura, making one wonder how she would have fared in roles like Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri. It is with great joy that I present this recital for the first time ever on CD not only because it follows in Opera Depot’s mission to remind the world of great singers from the past, but also because Irene Dalis is someone who is very dear to me. Dalis hired me to work at Opera San José which she founded after retiring from singing, and has given me amazing opportunities and loving support. In addition to the recital I have included excerpts from Jenufa, Elektra, Il Trovatore and Parsifal.

OD 11213-1