Verdi: Rigoletto - Callas, Di Stefano, Campolonghi; Mugnai. Mexico City, 1952
Listen to a Sample:
The idea of hearing Rigoletto today with a cast of this caliber seems like fantasy. Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano were one of the most dynamic duos in the history of opera. When paired together they brought a level of intensity unmatched in history. Here their roles may not have required the same kind of dramatic bight of Andrea Chénier or Un Ballo in maschera. Although they paint with a finer brush their characterizations are still astonishingly vivid and real. Maria Callas may be one of the largest-voiced Gilda's I have ever heard which makes for some exciting singing in the storm scene without detracting from the delicacy of "Caro nome." Giuseppe Di Stefano's sweet tenor exudes charisma. One can't help feel bad for Piero Campolonghi in the title role being next to such titans, and although he doesn't rise to their level he delivers a sturdy performance. The sound is very good.