Episode 170. Oralia Domínguez

Episode 170. Oralia Domínguez



Earlier this year, in an episode entitled “Women of Color Sing Mahler,” I provided many of my listeners to their first exposure to the Mexican contralto Oralia Domínguez (25 October 1925 – 25 November 2013). Domínguez is famed for her collaborations with such musical giants as Maria Callas and Herbert von Karajan, but on her own terms, she ranks alongside those monumental true contraltos like Marian Anderson and Kathleen Ferrier. Though there is no question that she was underrecorded, she left a handful of classic commercial recordings, and a plethora of recorded live performances which an artist both technically grounded and fearless in expression, one whose legato singing exuded repose just as her phenomenal coloratura singing generates genuine excitement. I cannot say enough about this artist, who has rapidly become one of my very favorites! The episode features Domínguez in a wide range of material, from Monteverdi, Handel, and Vivaldi to the meat and potatoes roles in the standard operatic repertoire (Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Ponchielli, Saint-Saëns, Massenet) as well as less familiar fare by Michael Tippett and Mexican composers Silvestre Revueltas and Salvador Moreno. Along the way our Earth Goddess is joined by fellow singers Joan Sutherland, Martina Arroyo, Mirella Freni, József Simándy, Monica Sinclair, and, of course, Maria Callas. A bonus episode published concurrently on Patreon presents Domínguez in extended operatic scenes and further rare song material.


Amilcare Ponchielli, Arrigo Boito [as Tobia Gorrio, after Victor Hugo]: A te questo rosario (La Gioconda). Oralia Domínguez, Lamberto Gardelli, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia [1967]

Gaetano Donizetti, Eugène Scribe [after Alfonse Royer, Gustave Vaëz; Italian Version by Francesco Jannetti]: O mio Fernando (La favorita). Oralia Domínguez, Richard Kraus, Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin [1959]

Jules Massenet, Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, Georges Hartmann [after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]: Va! laisse couler mes larmes (Werther) [sung in Italian]. Oralia Domínguez, Guido Picco, Orchestra del Palacio de la Bellas Artes [live Mexico City 15.VII.1952]

Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Francesco Busenello: Oblivion soave (L’incoronazione di Poppea). Oralia Domínguez, Raymond Leppard, London Philharmonic Orchestra [1964]

Antonio Vivaldi, Giacomo Cassetti: In somno profundo (Juditha Triumphans). Oralia Domínguez, Alberto Zedda, Orchestra da Camera dell’Angelicum [1968]

Michael Tippett: You who consult me (The Midsummer Marriage). Oralia Domínguez, John Pritchard, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden [live London 27.I.55]

Camille Saint-Saëns, Ferdinand Lemaire: Printemps qui commence (Samson et Dalila). Oralia Domínguez, Jean Fournet, Netherlands Radio Orchestra [live Netherlands 29.II.64]

Georges Bizet, Henri Meilhac, Ludovic Halévy [after Prosper Mérimée]: Es leitet Carmen keinem Gebot [Jamais Carmen ne cédera] (Carmen). Oralia Domínguez, József Simándy, Ferenc Fricsay, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper [1959]

Christoph Willibald Gluck, Ranieri de’ Calzabigi [after Euripedes]: Divinités du Styx (Alceste). Oralia Domínguez, Viviano Valdes [live San Luis Potosí (Mexico} 1980]

Giuseppe Verdi, Arrigo Boito [after William Shakespeare]: Ma c’è un’altra ambasciata per Vostra Grazia (Falstaff). Oralia Domínguez, Geraint Evans, Vittorio Gui, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra [Glyndebourne 29.VII.57]

Gioacchino Rossini: Qui tollis peccata mundi (Petite messe solennelle). Oralia Domínguez, Mirella Freni, Felix de Nobel, Nelly Wagenaar, George van Renesse, Albert de Klerk [live Holland Festival 01.VII.61]

Giuseppe Verdi: Recordare, Jesu pie (Messa da Requiem). Oralia Domínguez, Martina Arroyo, Jean Martinon, Orchestre national de l’ORTF [live Paris 12.VI.69]

George Frideric Handel, Antonio Marchi [after Ludovico Ariosti]: Non è amor, nè gelosia (Alcina). Oralia Domínguez, Joan Sutherland, Monica Sinclair, Nicola Rescigno, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia [live 02.1960]

Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Ghislanzoni [after Auguste Mariette and Temistocle Solera]: Ebben, qual nuovo fremito (Aida). Oralia Domínguez, Maria Callas, Oliviero de Fabritiis, Orquestra y Coro del Palacio de Bellas Artes [live Mexico City 03.VII.51]

Silvestre Revueltas, Federico García Lorca: Canción de cuna. Oralia Domínguez, Irène Aïtoff [ORTF 10.VI.59]

Salvador Moreno, Edmundo Baez: Canción de la barca triste. Oralia Dominguez, Irène Aïtoff [ORTF 10.VI.59]

Gustav Mahler, German text by Hans Bethge (from Die chinesische Flöte) and Gustav Mahler after Li-Tai-Po: Von der Schönheit (Das Lied von der Erde). Oralia Domínguez, Paul Kletzki, Wiener Symphoniker [live Wien 12.XI.54]

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