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Opera/obscure recording


Hi. There is an old TOPS recording of a truncated Rigoletto, which stems from the early 1950's. It was issued with hokey names, and I was wondering if you know who is actually on it. My guess is that it is with Bruno Landi & his wife, Hilde Reggiani, and Frank Valentino. My thanks in advance for any assistance.  SS

Hi Steve--

I did some more research and came up with the recording that is listed on this site.  Just do a search for Mieli.  It does indeed have the three principals that you mention.  The singers of most of the minor parts are mostly unknown to me.  However, it does list Giorgio Bardi as Sparafucile.  I am aware of a Giorgio Bardi-Kokolios (sometimes the two parts of the hyphenated name are reversed) who is in a live I vespri siciliani with Callas from 1951 that has circulated on pirate recordings (he's also the Riccardo in a Ballo on the Plymouth label); he is a tenor so it's surprising to see him in a bass role only two years after that Vespri.  Even more surprising is the presence of Jan Peerce as Borsa; Peerce sang the Duke for many years, I think the last time in the mid-1970s (in New Orleans, I believe).  You also correctly guessed the conductor, Manrico de Tura.  I believe I have heard of Adriana Ferrari also, although I can't be positive.  The recording is not listed on my favorite website for identifying recordings, which is operadis (google it).  I'm still inclined to believe that the recording is genuine.  If you know the voices of the principals, give them a listen and see if they sound like who the listing says that they are.  And Peerce of course is unmistakable (except when he reminds me of Tucker).

Mike L.


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Mike Leone


I have a special affinity for Italian opera, but I also have a lot of experience with French and German opera. I know somewhat less about opera from countries other than these, although there are some exceptions. My main area of interest is the period 1775-1925, although there are a few baroque and modern works that I love.


I've been listening to opera since 1963 and have amassed a large collection of recorded opera during those years. My interest here spans the entire history of recorded opera, going back to its very earliest days.

I have published a couple of lengthy reviews and a tribute to Mario del Monaco in Immortal Performances, have had some letters appear in Fanfare and have several reviews on

B.A., University of Maryland 1973, M.A., University of Texas 1975, J.D., University of Houston 1998 (none of these degrees are in music).

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