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Mad About Opera (Follie Per L?opera) / Various / (Sub B&w)

Bechi, Caniglia, Gigli, Gobbi, Schipa
Release Date: 11/22/2005 
Label:  Bel Canto Society   Catalog #: 493  
Composer:  Gioachino RossiniRodolfo FalvoRuggero LeoncavalloVincenzo Bellini,   ... 
Performer:  Gino BechiTito SchipaTito GobbiMaria Caniglia,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sung in Italian, with non-optional English subtitles.
B&W.
PCM audio.
DVD Region 0 (all regions)

In this screwball comedy a group of Italians presents an opera concert in London, with Schipa, Gigli, Caniglia, Gobbi and Bechi. The singers play themselves, with Bechi and Gobbi getting the most singing and screen time. (Gigli’s contribution, Chénier’s “Sì, fui soldato,” is taken from the film Solo per te, BCS Video #502.) The arias are fully staged, vividly filmed with lots of closeups. With few exceptions the camera stays directly on the singers. The print is superb.

Nobody ever sang "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro" with more inflections than Bechi. But the highlight that
Read more really leaps out is the "Toreador Song," where he provides a walloping spinal chill. Bechi was the most exciting baritone of the post-war period. Gobbi was the most artistic; here he sings the "Prologo" and "Dicitencello vuie" silkily, with exquisite legato. Schipa imbues every word of "Se il mio nome" with meaning, so that it becomes spoken song. Gigli is a perfervid Chénier. The legendary Caniglia makes the only on-screen appearance of her career, singing "Casta diva." The 20-year-old, pre-Hollywood Lollobrigida looks innocent yet nubile. — Stefan Zucker, Bel Canto Society
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Works on This Recording

1.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Largo al factotum by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Gino Bechi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
2.
Il barbiere di Siviglia: Se il mio nome saper voi bramate by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Tito Schipa (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
3.
Dicitencello vuie by Rodolfo Falvo
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
4.
I Pagliacci: Sì può? [Prologue] by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Tito Gobbi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
5.
Norma: Casta diva by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Maria Caniglia (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Italy 
Notes: Only screen appearence of Maria Caniglia.  
6.
Andrea Chénier: Si, fui soldato by Umberto Giordano
Performer:  Beniamino Gigli (Tenor)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Italy 
7.
Carmen: Votre toast je peu vous le rendre "Toreador Song" by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Gino Bechi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 

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