Corelli in Concert


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(1971). Ventura, cond. Rigoletto, Chénier, Africana, Bohème, Fanciulla, Cid + songs. 52m. Color. Collectors Edition: 32-p. booklet enclosed, includes rare photos.

DVD Bonuses: Corelli in two radio interviews with Stefan Zucker, 5 hrs., 8 mins., total. The first also includes Jerome Hines and Dodi ProteroPlease click here for an audio sample from the Corelli and Jerome Hines interview. Please click here for an audio sample from the Corelli Presents Pertile interview. 

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See a video clip below.

John Ardoin, reviewing in 
The Dallas Morning News

“Since Mr. Corelli retired from the stage, there has been no adequate Radamès, Manrico or Andrea Chénier. This recital was taped in color in 1971, with Mr. Corelli in marvelous form. A major souvenir of a giant singer.”

On this DVD Franco is very much himself. He sings to the audience as he sang to me in his living room–with the same gestures and mannerisms. And they love it! He flings himself into the encores with wild abandon. Gives spinal chills. The most personality of any Corelli DVD.

Corelli’s Rubato

Listen to Corelli play with the tempo in Ernesto De Curtis’s “Tu ca nun chiagne.” He introduces ritards and accelerations. Or listen to F. Paolo Tosti’s “‘A Vucchella,” where Corelli twice eases back into tempo after (unduly) long fermatas. Yet he told me, “I didn’t do rubato for fear of being squadrato [not with the conductor’s beat].” In this concert he is squadrato in “O paradiso,” on the word “paradiso.”

The reality may have been that he was willing to sing with flexibility of tempo when with piano accompaniment, as in the De Curtis and Tosti songs, in which he sings with piano after the orchestra has left the stage.

His Bobbing Larynx and Dropped Jaw

Voice teacher Giovanni Battista Lamperti maintained, in Vocal Wisdom: The Maxims of Giovanni Battista Lamperti by William Earl Brown, “Though the larynx need not be held muscularly fixed in one position, for either upper or lower register, it should remain quiescent throughout a song,” also that a singer should open his mouth “as wide as finger thickness.” Corelli adopted an unrelated approach. In accordance with his modification of Melocchi’s method, in soft passages his larynx “floated” up, in loud passages down. More, by 1971, Corelli had come to sing with his mouth wide open and jaw dropped to the maximum, on high notes, in particular–as is apparent in this concert.

His Scatto

At the end of “Un dì all’azzurro spazio” and the end of “Tu ca nun chiagne” Franco sings with scatto (punch), which is a reason he is so exciting.–Stefan Zucker


Booklet Table of Contents

Chapter Points: Corelli in Concert
Chapter Points: March 3, 1990 Interview
Chapter Points: March 30, 1991 Interview
Introduction to the Radio Interviews
Notes to Corelli in Concert
Del Monaco, Corelli and Their Influence
Sweet vs. Laryngeal Tenors
Corelli’s Virility
Corelli’s Goal
Franco Corelli: Some Missing Information
Corelli’s View of the Stanley Method
D100, Corelli in Concert
Corelli’s Rubato
His Bobbing Larynx and Dropped Jaw
His Scatto
Franco and Jerry
Stefan Zucker
PCM Audio

Chapter Points 

1. Play All 52 minutes
2. Questa o quella (Rigoletto, by Giuseppe Verdi)
3. Un dì all’azzurro spazio (Andrea Chénier, by Umberto Giordano)
4. O paradiso (L’Africana, by Giacomo Meyerbeer)
5. Che gelida manina (La bohème, by Giacomo Puccini)
6. Ch’ella mi creda (La fanciulla del West, by Giacomo Puccini)
7. Ô souverain, ô juge, ô père (Le Cid, by Jules Massenet)
8. ’O sole mio (Eduardo Di Capua)
9. Core ’ngrato (Salvatore Cardillo)
10. Tu ca nun chiagne! (Ernesto De Curtis)
11. ’A Vucchella (Francesco Paolo Tosti)

Audio-only Bonuses

Franco Corelli and Jerome Hines
Interviewed by Stefan Zucker
“Opera Fanatic,” March 3, 1990

Chapter Points

1. Play All 2 hours, 56 minutes
2. Callas vs. Olivero
3. Callas’s technique
4. Her loss of voice
5. Hines on Olivero and Callas
6. The Rome Walkout
7. Maria Caniglia
8. Beniamino Gigli
9. Has singing changed in your time?
10. Bianca Scacciati
11. Miscasting
12. Picking singers to suit operas vs. picking operas to suit singers
13. American, Italian and German styles
14. German vs. Italian legato
15. The vowel “ah”
16. The German influence
17. Renato Cellini, the first Fascist at the Met after the war
18. Cloe Elmo. Corelli favors booing
19. Booing at the Met
20. Claques
21. Booing
22. Gigli’s influence on Del Monaco
23. Big voices and 16th notes
24. Leyla Gencer
25. The Rome Walkout and the lack of covers in Italy
26. When in America Italians display temperament
27. Corelli’s favorite among his performances
28. Stanford Olsen
29. Lina Pagliughi
30. Gino Bechi, Giangiacomo Guelfi, Leonard Warren, Robert Merrill, Cornell MacNeil, Ettore Bastianini and Titta Ruffo
31. Why Corelli did not sing Ballo
32. Corelli’s favorite conductors
33. Singing too loudly
34. Grace Bumbry
35. The tempos of Karajan and Bernstein
36. A conductor Corelli did not like
37. Does Corelli approve of the Met’s casting?
38. Why the Met’s orchestra is too loud
39. The Met’s choice of singers
40. What is a Verdian voice?
41. Iodine on vocal cords
42. The Del Monaco cocktail
43. Almond oil, cortisone
44. Douglas Stanley
45. The day of a performance
46. Enzo Sordello’s herbs and the steam in his room
47. Directors’ opera
48. The biggest voices
49. Francesco Merli, Giacomo Lauri-Volpi, Birgit Nilsson, Richard Tucker, Anita Välkki, Helen Traubel, Caruso, Gino Penno
50. Sweet tenors vs. round tenors
51. A Corelli return as Otello
52. To return or not to return?
53. Nel verde maggio from Loreley, by Catalani
54. Scooping
55. Gigli’s recordings
56. Corelli’s favorite tenor
57. Ave Maria by Tortorella
58. Hines: Toscanini made us sing unnaturally
59. Corelli’s favorite soprano
60. What Corelli learned from Callas
61. What he learned from Tebaldi and Nilsson
62. Melocchi’s other students
63. Del Monaco’s influence
64. Giuseppe Di Stefano
65. The difficulty of the laryngeal method
66. The inhalation treatment that hurt Corelli’s voice
67. Why Corelli stopped his career
68. Live vs. studio recordings
69. Corelli’s films: Magnifica ossessione and La carovana nel deserto

Corelli Presents Pertile

Franco Corelli Interviewed by Stefan Zucker
“Opera Fanatic,” March 30, 1991

Chapter Points

1. Play All 2 hours, 12 minutes
2. Pertile’s early history
3. Lohengrin selections
4. Was Pertile a cripple?
5. Did you ever consider singing Wagner?
6. A dry voice but legato, diction, warmth and sensibility
7. Sì, pel ciel, with Benvenuto Franci, 1928
8. Bernardo De Muro
9. Ballo selections
10. The laugh in È scherzo od è follia
11. Quando le sere al placido, 1927
12. Studio vs. live recordings
13. Tosca
14. Anglo-Saxon vs. Italian taste
15. Chris Merritt and Edita Gruberova in I puritani
16. Pertile vs. Caruso
17. Corelli’s vibrato
18. Corelli’s vocal problems at the beginning of his career
19. Pertile’s vibrato vs. Giovanni Martinelli’s voce fissa
20. Chris Merritt
21. Corelli practices Puritani
22. Corelli’s high Ds in Poliuto
23. Corelli broke on an A-flat on an EMI Norma
24. Pertile’s mask placement
25. Corelli’s cancellations
26. Three arias from Manon Lescaut
27. Vesti la giubba
28. Similarities between Corelli and Pertile
29. “Loretta esci” (Loretta, get out)
30. Vieni (Denza) 1927
31. La mia sposa sarà la mia bandiera (Rotoli) 1927
32. L’ultima canzone (Tosti) 1927
33. The fight between Miguel Fleta and Pertile
34. Making allowances for false intonation
35. Apri la tua finestra, from Iris (Mascagni) 1920
36. Did Corelli’s diminuendo involve falsetto?

If you are a Corelli fan you will find this video indispensable. Many of his fans–women, in particular–say it is their favorite of all his videos.

Please use this link for additional reviews of this and other Corelli titles by Richard Fawkes in Opera Now.

This DVD is the format Region 0 (all regions).