Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera - Jones, Domingo, Banuelas, Scovotti, Silva; Santi. Hamburg, 1975
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Gwyneth Jones started her career as a mezzo-soprano singing roles like Orfeo and Carmen. It wasn't until she was scheduled to sing Ulrica in Un Ballo in maschera that Nello Santi convinced her that she was a soprano sighting the fact that one couldn't hear her in her middle register and she had a great high C. She subsequently graduated to the role of Amelia and the rest is history. This performance, over a decade later, reunites Jones and Santi in the opera that changed her career. Jones shows that the shift was a wise one, unleashing steely high notes contrasted by delicate, floated pianissimi. She is joined by Placido Domingo in the role of Riccardo which affords the Spanish tenor the opportunity to show off his lyrical and dramatic sides. He even attempts (and succeeds at) a rare, live high C at the end of Act II duet. Jeanette Scovotti is a charming Oscar and Maestro Santi demonstrates that he is the last of the great Italian conductors. The sound is fair to good.