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Andrea Chenier Highlights – Del Monaco, Tebaldi

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Del Monaco, Silveri, Ticozzi, Tebaldi, Barbieri, Modesti, Barbesi, Maugeri, Mariano Caruso, Nessi; de Sabata. Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, March 6, 1949.

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Chénier was the role with which Del Monaco changed singing by introducing a technique taught by Arturo Melocchi, based on singing with the larynx kept low, at the bottom of the neck. It gave Del Monaco a powerful, brassy, thick, muscular, penetrating sound.

In March 1949 Del Monaco sang Chénier at La Scala. His performances excited the public and marked a changing of the guard. Gigli sang his final Scala performances in 1947, as Chénier. His object above all and that of the tenors he influenced was to caress you. Del Monaco’s was to excite you.

Del Monaco sang La Scala’s March 6, 1949 broadcast of Chénier. On hearing it Corelli, already having tried many teachers, went to study with Melocchi. Their lowered-larynx approach has been copied by Vladimir Atlantov, Giuseppe Giacomini, Luis Lima, Nicola Martinucci and a host of others.

This is a recording of that broadcast. Because of technical problems, only portions of the opera were broadcast successfully. (Those are the portions of the broadcast heard here.) Nevertheless the performance and the broadcast made Del Monaco a star. Tebaldi was one already. —Stefan Zucker

Andrea Chénier
Carlo Gérard
La Contessa di Coigny
Maddalena di Coigny
Madelon
Roucher
Pietro Fléville
Il Sanculotto Mathieu
Un “Incredibile”
L’Abate
Mario Del Monaco
Paolo Silveri
Ebe Ticozzi
Renata Tebaldi
Fedora Barbieri
Giuseppe Modesti
Attilio Barbesi
Carmelo Maugeri
Mariano Caruso
Giuseppe Nessi
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano
Victor de Sabata, Conductor
Maestro del Coro: Vittore Veneziani
March 6, 1949

Act I

1. O soave bisbiglio!
2. Signor Chénier
3. Colpito qui m’avete
4. Un dì all’azzurro spazio

Act II

5. Or qui rovescia!
6. Non conoscete amor
7. Eravate possente
8. Ora soave, sublime ora
9. Maddalena di Coigny

Act III

10. Son la vecchia Madelon
11. Nemico della patria!
12. Or io rinnego il santo grido!
13. Carlo Gérard?…Là! Entrate!
14. La mamma morta