Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Ballo in Maschera San Francisco 1940

Bjorling and Rethberg as Riccardo and Amelia

This short extract from Act 3 (performed and announced, modern performances usually call this act 2) showcases Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling and German soprano Elisabeth Rethberg. Bjorling can be heard in complete performances of Ballo from the Met (1940) and New Orleans (1950) but this is, by a few weeks, his earliest documented Riccardo. Rethberg sang Amelia frequently (but not at the Met) yet no other recording exists of her in the role. There are some problems with the sound, a few dropouts here and there and some pitch wavering, but most of it is very good. Commentary is included before and after the extract, and after the duet.

Elisabeth Rethberg

Ballo In Maschera – Verdi
San Francisco War Memorial Opera House October 23, 1940
Broadcast WJZ New York, 12.30-12.57am (Oct 24th).

Jussi Bjorling - Riccardo
Elisabeth Rethberg - Amelia
Richard Bonnelli – Renato
Lorenzo Alvary  - Sam
Robert Sellon - Tom

San Francisco Opera Orchestra c.Gennaro Papi

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