Il trovatore – Callas, Lauri-Volpi

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Callas, Lauri-Volpi, Elmo, Silveri, Tajo, De Rosa, Della Pergola, Gaudioso, Avolanti; Serafin, 1951.

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Magda Olivero: I have a beautiful remembrance of Lauri-Volpi. He wanted me to sing Fanciulla, telling me, “I’ll be your first Johnson.” I believed him, but when the contract came the management of the Teatro dell’Opera said to me, “Signora, you must have patience: Lauri-Volpi perhaps will come to the dress rehearsal. Even though Minnie is an important character, Johnson also is important. In short, you’ll do the rehearsals with the stage director and we’ll put in a substitute for Lauri-Volpi. And now another matter: You should pay close attention to Lauri-Volpi because he doesn’t love sopranos. He says, ‘Don’t touch me, don’t annoy me, don’t make me nervous.’ So please pay attention, don’t go too near him, don’t squeeze him.” If you think of Minnie and Johnson, how is it possible not to squeeze him, not to embrace him? There are scenes in which it is indispensable! Still I said, “All right, I’ll be very careful.”

At the first rehearsal in a room, I arrived and whom did I find? Lauri-Volpi, who was ready to rehearse. He did all the rehearsals in the room, all the stage rehearsals and all the orchestra rehearsals, including the dress rehearsal. During the stage rehearsals with piano I did all the prescribed things, but when I came to a moment where I was to rush toward him and embrace him, I went to a certain point and then stopped myself.

One day he looked at me and said, “Excuse me. I would like to know, why don’t you ever embrace me?” I timidly said to him, “Commendatore, I don’t want to annoy you.” He took me by the hand and said, “You annoy me? No!” He whirled me around and then clasped me strongly in his arms. And this is a memory I can never forget.

Il trovatore
Tullio Serafin, Direttore
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli
January 27, 1951

Leonora…..Maria Callas
Manrico…..Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Azucena…..Cloe Elmo
Il conte di Luna…..Paolo Silveri
Ferrando…..Italo Tajo
Ines…..Teresa De Rosa
Ruiz…..Luciano Della Pergola
Vecchio zingaro…..Gerardo Gaudioso
Un messo…..Gianni Avolanti

Act I

  1. All’erta, all’erta
  2. Di due figli vivea
  3. E il padre
  4. Che più t’arresti
  5. Tacea la notte placida
  6. Quanto narrasti di turbamento
  7. Di tale amor
  8. Tace la notte!
  9. Deserto sulla terra
  10. Di geloso amor spezzato

Act II

  1. Vedi!…Chi del gitano
  2. Stide la vampa
  3. Soli or siamo
  4. Condotta ell’era in ceppi
  5. Non son tuo figlio?
  6. Mal reggendo all’aspro assalto
  7. L’usato messo….Perigliarti ancor
  8. Tutto è deserto
  9. Il balen del suo sorriso
  10. Qual suono!…Per me ora fatale
  11. Ah! Se l’error t’ingombra
  12. Perché piangete?
  13. E deggio….e posso crederlo

Act III

  1. Or co’dadi, ma fra poco
  2. In braccio al mio rival!
  3. Giorni poveri vivea
  4. Deh, rallentate o barbari
  5. Quale d’armi fragor poc’anzi intesi?
  6. Ah! sì, ben mio
  7. Manrico, che? La zingara
  8. Di quella pira

Act IV

  1. Siam giunti; ecco la torre
  2. D’amor sull’ali rosee
  3. Miserere
  4. Udiste? Come albeggi
  5. Vivrà? Contende il giubilo
  6. Madre? Non dormi?
  7. Se m’ami ancor….Ai nostri monti
  8. Ciel! Non m’inganna
  9. Ti scosta

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