Cher Public

Un Eden di delizia!

Liebe Grüße aus dem Grünen Hügel! Well, the steamer trunks arrived (one never knows when a summer fur may be required), but my hat has gone missing. And so has Verdi! Last week was Puccini, Offenbach, and more Puccini, and now I am drowning in Wagner. So let’s all listen to the American debut of Ghena Dimitrova in this 1981 performance of Ernani from Dallas.  

This is Dimitrova before she became pigeonholed into all those Turandots and Abigailles. The sound of the voice may surprise you if you only know her from her later work. Also of note are the superb Matteo Manuguerra as Don Carlo and the indefatigable Paul Pishka as de Silva. As for the Ernani… well, some of you were around for those infamous Met performances of La Gioconda in 1982 in which a certain Carlo Bini caused a revolt when he replaced Plácido Domingo as Enzo mid-performance. Here we have Bini in all his glory, shortly before the end of his career of 31 performances with the Met.

Giuseppe Verdi: Ernani

Dallas Opera
Nicola Rescigno, conductor
18 December 1981

Ernani – Carlo Bini
Elvira – Ghena Dimitrova
Don Carlo – Matteo Manuguerra
Don Ruy Gomez de Silva – Paul Plishka

Dedicated to Ghena Dimitrova: 6 May 1941 – 11 June 2005

  • Carlo Bini in all of his glory. He just finished his aria and cabaletta and boy is he horrible. If that’s his glory, I’d hate to hear him at his worst.

  • Camille

    ‘Tis the season for losing one’s chapeau, apparently, as I just left my hat somewhere yesterday and am trying to back track it at the moment.

    Here is yet another lady sans chapeau, Jungfer Marianne—so you are not alone!

    Looking forward greatly to your Report From the Green Hill!

  • WindyCityOperaman
  • actfive

    I love hearing the freshness and surprising agility of Dimitrova’s voice here…

  • Camille

    The good thing, I guess, about having been traumatically*Tamura-ized* this last spring is that, after having been thus innoculated, ANYone sounds okay, even povero Carlo Bini. Just now finished and my ears haven’t fallen off. Really enjoyed the Don Carlo the most, and it is always nice hearing good old Ghena before her umpteenth Turandot and Abigaille, as it was quite a more enjoyable voice in the beginning.

    Anyway, Jungfer Marianne, the good news is, I found my summer hat and do hope yours turns up soon as well, just like the Contessa di Folleville’s did. Viel Spaß!

  • LT

    And then they say she had an ugly voice.