tancredi ad infinitum

Well i wasn’t looking for this at all, since i was so sure there was never a recording of it. was digging for this particular live recording, when suddenly it fell right into my lap! I still have doubt, was it mislabeled… anyhow, here it is, always with the overture and open chorus to start of course:

Marilyn Horne and Edita Gruberova were the original stars, but Horne’s Tancredi wanted to die and the festival people said otherwise, so she pulled out. Gruberova then pulled out as well, and we ended up with Romanian-British soprano Nelly Miricioiu as Amenaide and a very young Kasarova as Tancredi. Miricioiu is a very big name herself with a big fan base, and we have her fans to thank for recording this.

This was of course the big break for Vesselina Kasarova’s career. She gave an interview once from Tokyo (I can’t find it anymore, it was with this photo) where she talked about the stars’ cancellation. Here she is, freshly learned the role from just 20 days (how interesting, i keep hearing church bell through the middle part of the aria…):

more to come, when done i’ll put together a playlist. enjoy!


«Tancredi» war wirklich eine Extremsituation, ich musste die Partie in zwanzig Tagen lernen, parallel zu den «Tito»-Aufführungen. Natürlich habe ich vor solchen Auftritten Lampenfieber, aber ich bin eigentlich von Natur aus ruhig und habe gute Nerven.–VK

“Tancredi” was really an extreme situation, I had to learn the role in twenty days, in parallel with the ‘Tito’ performances. Of course I have such stage fright before performances, but I really am by nature quiet and have good nerves. — VK

the rest is now in. Here’s the playlist. It’s probably the only time ever I’ve heard Frau K being somewhat drowned out by the orchestra, especially during duets.
duet #1, Tancredi and Amenaide, L’aura che intorno spiri
Act 1 finale (all voices)
duet #2, Tancredi and Argirio
duet #3, Tancredi and Amenaide, Lasciami… A, come mai quell anima?

found an interesting article in the LA Times about Salzburg 1992!

Gerard Mortier, the new director, comes from Belgium. Significantly, his origins are no more Germanic than his artistic inclinations. He wants to change Salzburg’s artistic profile. He wants to import new faces and new ensembles–last week Simon Rattle and his Birminghamers, now Salonen & Co. He wants to introduce very old music as well as very new music. He wants to explore modern staging techniques. He wants to democratize the audience.

Despite a relatively cautious start, his fierce defense of adventure has created an inevitable degree of ill will among traditionalists. The press–especially the Viennese press–has been somewhat antagonistic. In public statements, representatives of the august Vienna Philharmonic have protested the invasion of their turf by what they deem to be unworthy orchestras (it was unclear whether Los Angeles fell in that category). Certain city fathers are worried about the commercial impact of what they perceive as a cultural revolution.

A few big-name artists have mutinied. Riccardo Muti withdrew from a new production of Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” because he disapproved of the contemporary staging scheme. Marilyn Horne huffily pulled out of Rossini’s “Tancredi” because she disagreed with the performing edition favored by the comparatively little-known conductor, Pinchas Steinberg. Her potential co-diva, Edita Gruberova, followed Horne to the door.

Holding his own, Mortier seems to have taken the problems in stride. At short notice, he engaged Gustav Kuhn to replace Muti, young Vesselina Kasarova to replace Horne, and Nelly Miricioiu to succeed Gruberova. Although he lowered the star power, he could not lower the $250 top for tickets to the concert performances of the Rossini opera.