|Giacomo Puccini (1856-1924)|
Why do I harp on this? I don't like young singers being bilked for money. I've never been sold on the
|Giuseppe de Luca|
Wow. Focus Christopher.
Giuseppe de Luca. He was the first Gianni Schicchi. You can lean so much about words and legato from him.
Giuseppe de Luca (1876-1940) sang well into his seventies. He came to the States in 1915 and three years later was the first Gianni Schicchi. He had created Sharpless in Madama Butterfly in 1907 and Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur in 1901, the latter with Caruso who he frequently partnered.
I'm not surprised to read raves about his singing in 1918, 1930, etc.
But in 1940 he made a comeback at the age of sixty-four.
He sang Germont in La traviata.
Giuseppe de Luca, the veteran baritone...stepped from the wings in the second act. It is not surprising that on receiving the thunderous tribute from the audience, it was hard for Mr. de Luca to control his features or summon the breath to sing. ...When he did open his mouth the first five notes made the pulses beat because of the art and the beauty of the song...The quality of the legato, the perfection of the style, the sentiment which ennobled the melodic phrase, struck the whole audience...
Olin Downes, New York Times February 8 1940
(They really had critics then,didn't they? Olin Downes was no pushover)
de Luca sang Schicchi twenty -six times from the premiere in 1918 through 1934. De Luca returned to Italy the following year and came back to New York in 1940. (I'm surprised Mussolini allowed him to leave)
|Geraldine Farrar as Suor Angelica...unimpressed|