KINGSWAY HALL, LONDON 14 FEB 1957
STUDIO REMASTERED 2014
2CD 0825646340897 – DIGITAL

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia

PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA AND CHORUS
ALCEO GALLIERA

As she demonstrated in both Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il turco in Italia, Callas, the great tragedienne, could also turn her skills to comedy. As it happened, the 1956 La Scala production of Rossini’s most popular opera did not prove a great success with audiences, but its stars – Callas, Tito Gobbi and Luigi Alva – reassembled in London the following year for this recording. Callas sang the role of Rosina at its original mezzo-soprano pitch and her version of ‘Una voce poco fa’ – punctuated by an unforgettable ‘ma’ (‘but’) in the cabaletta – is a miracle of both elegance and wit.


ROSINA: MARIA CALLAS


IL CONTE D’ALMAVIVA: LUIGI ALVA


FIGARO: TITO GOBBI


BARTOLO: FRITZ OLLENDORFF


BASILIO: NICOLA ZACCARIA


BERTA: GABRIELLA CARTURAN


FIORELLO: MARIO CARLIN