This compilation features seventeen tenor climaxes in a little over an hour. There is little time for foreplay so, while I was impressed with their prowess, I was left feeling strangely unsatisfied by this series of premature interpolations. Most of the performances end abruptly, and, in a couple of cases the introductions are also cut. It does not make sense to launch into "E lucevan le stelle" without the orchestral introduction. Likewise, "Nessun dorma" needs the lontano choral introduction.
The performances date mainly from the early 1980s. We get extracts from some solid productions at Covent Garden, Glyndebourne and La Scala and some slightly dodgier ones from Verona and La Fenice. The highlights for me were Jon Vickers from the 1981 Samson et Dalila and the famous 1982 San Francisco production of Aida with Luciano Pavarotti. There are also a couple of extracts from the 1996 Chatelet production of Don Carlos, starring Roberto Alagna, that made me keen to seek-out the complete opera. On the debit side we have Vladimir Atlantov singing Otello in a language that could have been Italian and might equally have been Russian. We also have Giacomo Aragall fluffing the opening phrase of "E lucevan le stelle" but, judging by the bulge in his trousers, he may have had other things on his mind.
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