Verdi: Un Ballo in maschera - Vickers, Shuard, Glossop, Popp, Verrett; Kertesz. London, 1966

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There is not one Italian in this entire cast of English speaking singers, yet this Un ballo in maschera captures the essence of why this opera is great about as well as any performance I have heard. Jon Vickers is certainly an odd choice in this role but he proves as comfortable in middle Verdis he is in roles like Radamés and Otello. It was wise for them to match him with Amy Shuard. Shuard never had any trouble alternating between Italian and German repertoire and she brings the best aspects of a Verdi singer (i.e. line and control) in addition to the power that made her so exciting as Isolde and Brünnhilde. Peter Glossop is equally good as Anckarström. Shirley Verrett's talents almost seem underused as Ulrica but when the role allows her to let loose, she does not hold back. Lucia Popp is a charming Oscar. The sound is only fair.

OD 10728-2

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