Episode 59. Rosanna Carteri

Episode 59. Rosanna Carteri In Memoriam

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I had been planning a 90th birthday tribute to this extraordinary artist in December, but alas, the great Rosanna Carteri departed this earth a week ago today, just a few weeks short of that landmark celebration. But let us celebrate today nonetheless, that this long-lived artist, who abandoned her performing career in 1966 when she was only 35 years old, brought her full-throated voice and impeccable artistry to operatic stages around the world for fifteen exceptional years. Carteri’s was a lyric yet full-bodied voice with facility that allowed her to undertake soubrette parts as well as some spinto roles. I feature extended examples of her versatility over the course of that entire career, including excerpts from La traviata, La bohème, La rondine, Guglielmo Tell, Falstaff, L’elisir d’amore, Madama Butterfly, Roméo et Juliette, Otello, Pietro Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz and Iris, Prokofiev’s War and Peace (the final version of which she created in Florence in 1954), the premiere recording of Poulenc’s Gloria and Gilbert Bécaud’s Opéra d’Aran (which she premiered in Paris in 1962). These operas represent just a fraction of her repertoire, in which are featured, among others, Giuseppe di Stefano, Nicolai Gedda, Leonard Warren, Carlo Bergonzi, Ettore Bastianini, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Taddei, Cesare Valletti, and Giuseppe Gismondo and conductors Tullio Serafin, Pierre Monteux, Vittorio Gui, Georges Prêtre, Gabriele Santini, and Artur Rodzinski. In other words, the crème de la crème of the operatic firmament in the 1950s and 1960s, in which company Carteri most emphatically belonged.

RECORDINGS HEARD IN THIS EPISODE

Gilbert Bécaud, Margherita Wallman, Rosanna Carteri, and Serge Baudo at the premiere of the Opéra d’Aran

Gilbert Bécaud, Louis Amade, Jacques Emmanuel, Pierre Delanoë: Air de Maureen (Opéra d’Aran). Rosanna Carteri, Georges Prêtre, Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire [1962 studio recording]

Rosanna Carteri and Alvino Misciano in Gilbert Bécaud’s Opéra d’Aran

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Deh, vieni, non tardar (Le nozze di Figaro). Rosanna Carteri, Nino Antonellini, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma della RAI [radio recording 9 February 1953]

Ettore Bastianini

Serge Prokofiev: Opening Scene (Guerra e Pace). Rosanna Carteri, Ettore Bastianini; Artur Rodzinski, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino [live Firenze 26 May 1953]

Giuseppe Taddei as Falstaff

Giuseppe Verdi: Fra poco s’incomincia la commedia (Falstaff). Rosanna Carteri, Giuseppe Taddei, Lina Pagliughi, Amalia Pini, Anna Maria Canali; Mario Rossi, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI [radio recording 2 October 1949]

Rosanna Carteri as Adina in L’elisir d’amore

Gaetano Donizetti: Prendi, per me sei libero (L’elisir d’amore). Rosanna Carteri; Nino Sanzogno, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala [live Edinburgh 23 August 1957]

Gioacchino Rossini: Selva opaca (Guglielmo Tell). Rosanna Carteri; Mario Rossi, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI [radio recording 13 November 1951]

Cesare Valletti as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore

Pietro Mascagni: Suzel, buon dì (L’amico Fritz). Rosanna Carteri, Cesare Valletti; Vittorio Gui, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI [radio recording 24 April 1953]

Giuseppe di Stefano

Pietro Mascagni: Ah! I tuoi cappelli (Iris). Rosanna Carteri, Giuseppe di Stefano; Antonio Tonini, Sinfonica di Milano [1957 studio recording]

Giuseppe Pietri: Addio alla colomba (Prima Rosa). Rosanna Carteri [further information unknown]

Francis Poulenc: Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (Gloria). Rosanna Carteri; Georges Prêtre, Orchestre National et Chœurs de l’ORTF [1961 studio recording; recorded in the presence of the composer]

Nicolai Gedda as Roméo

Charles Gounod; Roméo, qu’as tu donc? (Roméo et Juliette), Rosanna Carteri, Nicolai Gedda; Georges Prêtre, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris [1964 studio recording]

Ferruccio Tagliavini as Rodolfo

Giacomo Puccini: Sono andati? (La bohème). Rosanna Carteri, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Taddei, Cesare Siepi, Pier Luigi Latinucci, Elvira Ramella; Gabriele Santini, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI [1952 radio recording]

Rosanna Carteri and Jussi Björling in La bohème, Covent Garden 1960

Giacomo Puccini: Nella tua casa io non posso entrar (La Rondine). Rosanna Carteri, Giuseppe Gismondo; Vincenzo Bellezza, Orchestra del Teatro San Carlo di Napoli [live Napoli 26 January 1958]

Carlo Bergonzi as Pinkerton

Giacomo Puccini: Vogliatemi bene (Madama Butterfly). Rosanna Carteri, Carlo Bergonzi; Massimo Pradella, Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI [radio recording 30 January 1960]

Rosanna Carteri and Leonard Warren backstage at La Scala before a Rigoletto performance, 1953

Giuseppe Verdi: Imponete (La traviata). Rosanna Carteri, Leonard Warren; Pierre Monteux, Orchestra dell’Opera di Roma) [1956 studio recording]

Giuseppe Verdi: Piangea cantando… Ave Maria (Otello). Rosanna Carteri, Luisella Ciaffi-Ricagno; Tullio Serafin, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI [soundtrack to film, recorded Milano 20 September 1958]

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