Cher Public

Mario, Mario, Mario!

It appears that La Cieca has finally acknowledged that there is more to opera than high-voiced divas: tenors can be pretty amazing as well. As such, we’ve declared Mario del Monaco week at Unnatural Acts of Opera. The celebration begins this evening with the first act of Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, the 1954 Florence May Festival performance, also starring Eleanor Steber, Giangiacomo Guelfi and Giorgio Tozzi, with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting. More of Fanciulla follows later in the week, along with scenes from a pair of operas “bookending” the peak decade of del Monaco’s career. From 1950 in Mexico City, the tenor is heard in the Nile Scene from Act 3 of Aida opposite Maria Callas; then, from 1959 at La Scala, he is Paolo to the Francesca da Rimini of Magda Olivero in a passionate love scene from the Zandonai opera.