Friday, March 1, 2013

Great singer of the increasingly irregular interval: Gabriella Tucci

I recently decided to get my money's worth from that monthly subscription to the Metropolitan Opera's On-Demand service, and this evening I wound up listening to a 1962 audio recording of Aida, from a Saturday afternoon broadcast, that featured the divine Gabriella Tucci. What a singer! (Some guy named Corelli was in the same broadcast, but who cares?)

To show you what the lady could do, here is a clip from a televised performance in 1961. Japan, apparently.

Not only does she nail the aria, but her C is great.  And of course, as everyone who reads YouTube comments knows, that's the only important note in the entire aria.  

The following is stolen freely from her brief Wikipedia bio, further edited by yours truly:
Gabriella Tucci, attribution unknown
Gabriella Tucci (b. Aug. 4, 1929) is an Italian soprano, particularly associated with the Italian repertory. 
Born in Rome, Tucci trained at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Leonardo Filoni, whom she later married. She made her debut at Spoleto, as Leonora in La Forza del Destino, opposite Beniamino Gigli, in 1951. She appeared in the famous revival of Cherubini's Medea, as Glauce, opposite Maria Callas, in Florence, in 1953.
She made her debut at La Scala in Milan in 1959, as Mimi in La Bohème. The following year saw her debuts at both the Royal Opera House in London, as Aida, and at the Metropolitan Opera, as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly. She sang at the Metropolitan Opera until 1972.  Other roles included: Euridice, Marguerite, Leonora in both Il Trovatore and La Forza del Destino, Maria Boccanegra/Amelia, Violetta, Aida, Desdemona, Alice Ford, Mimi, etc. 
Tucci also appeared in Vienna, Berlin, and Buenos Aires. She traveled with the La Scala Opera to Moscow and Tokyo, performances that have been documented in live recordings. 
A versatile singer and an accomplished actress, Tucci was able to tackle a wide range of roles from bel canto toverismo, singing Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Elvira in I Puritani, Gilda in Rigoletto, Violetta in La Traviata, and Marguerite in Faust, Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, and Tosca.
Tucci made only two commercial recordings--Pagliacci in 1959, opposite Mario del Monaco, and Il Trovatore in 1964, opposite Franco Corelli--but can be heard in a number of "live" performances, including Cherubini's Medeaand Donizetti's Il Furioso al Isola di Santo Domingo.

The lovely lady was on the faculty at a certain opera factory school while I was a student there, but another soprano known for the Italian repertoire gained more notoriety.  As a stupid young lad, I had never heard of her. As a stupid old man, I certainly have!  Again I say, what a singer!

Here she is as Liu opposite another soprano you might have heard of, 1969.  That particular video has embedding disabled.

But here she is in a 1963 Met radio broadcast as Violetta in Traviata.  Audo only, I'm afraid.


Lucy said...

A charming post, with an irresistible title! I feel edified and better informed. Out of idle curiosity, what are your feelings about Corelli? His certainly isn't a bel canto voice; is there too much over-the-top verismo sentiment to his style for you, or are you won over by his sheer audacity (or other qualities?)

Anonymous said...

You are a completely fool..