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Renata Tebaldi

Renata Tebaldi was one of the dominant lyrico-spinto sopranos of the 1950s and 1960s, with a large, powerful voice that, despite a severely flawed top, was described by many of her admirers as one of the most beautiful of the 20th century. In many ways she and Maria Callas were defined by one another, although often far too simplistically, assuming that what one had, the other did not. (Rather like the cats versus dogs debates among pet lovers, in which all dogs are loving but dumb and all cats are bright but treacherous.) Those who backed Callas against Tebaldi denounced Tebaldi as a stodgy singer of the "this is about showing off my voice" school and lauded Callas as the genuine operatic artist who let the voice be subservient to the opera and to the drama; those who held Tebaldi to be the prima donna denounced Callas as overly erratic, with an unattractive voice that was on the edge of disaster. In fact, Tebaldi was not without a sense of the stage and of dramatic presentation, and for much of her career, in many ways Callas had the more reliable and versatile technique.

She studied at the Arrigo Boito Conservatory in Parma, and her stage debut was as Elena (Helen of Troy) in Boito's Mefistofele in 1944 at Rovigo. Her career took off with a concert performance rather than an operatic one. In 1946, Toscanini was performing the Verdi Te Deum to reopen the La Scala opera house, and he engaged her to perform the soprano solo. Whether he was referring to the way that she was physically placed considerably above the other soloists, exhorting her to sing like an angel, or in fact describing her voice as "la voce d' angelo" (the voice of an angel), a question which has aroused some controversy, she was soon identified by that phrase. Her stage debut was three months later as Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger. She made her London debut in 1950 as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello as part of a La Scala tour, the year of her United States debut in San Francisco as Tosca, and her Paris and Rio de Janiero debuts the next year. Her Met debut was in 1955, also as Desdemona, and thereafter it became something of a home base for her. While she had performed relative rarities earlier in her career, even including such unlikely composers as Handel (Giulio Cesare) and Rossini (Le siege de Corinthe) and obscure works by Spontini (La vestale and Fernando Cortez) and Refice' s Cecilia, she began to narrow her repertoire to mainstream works by Verdi, Puccini, and some of the verismo composers. In the early 1960s, a problematic technique and personal crisis (the death of her mother, to whom she had been especially close), led to a vocal crisis, and in 1963, she left the stage to rest and rework. While her vocal condition had not especially improved by the time of her return, her acting received far more praise than before. Her physical mobility was still limited by the after-effects of childhood polio, but she had become more expressive, and better able to use gestures and expressions to convey drama. In the early 1970s, she began her retirement, and her final stage performance was at La Scala in 1976.

Among her recordings, her Liu on the Leinsdorf Turandot with Nilsson and Bjoerling (RCA Living Stero 62687) shows her at her best; the tempo is not allowed to become lugubrious, and the role lies particularly low for a soprano, allowing the velvety richness of her middle and lower range to be displayed without the flatness or harshness that plagued her upper range throughout her career. ~ Ann Feeney
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Amor: Opera's Great Love Songs

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Aida, Opera

1. Aida, Opera: Celeste Aida

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera

2. Gianni Schicchi, Opera: O Mio Babbino Caro

Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera

3. Manon Lescaut, Opera: Donna Non Vidi Mai

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Luisa Miller, Opera

4. Luisa Miller, Opera: Quando Le Sere Al Placido Chiaror

Composer: Camille Saint-Saëns
Title: Samson Et Dalila, Opera In 3 Acts, Op. 47

5. Samson Et Dalila, Opera In 3 Acts, Op. 47: Mon Coeur S'ouvre A Ta Voix

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: L'elisir D'amore, Opera

6. L'elisir D'amore, Opera: Una Furtiva Lagrima

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Turandot, Opera

7. Turandot, Opera: Signore, Ascolta!

Title: Tosca, Opera

8. Tosca, Opera: Recondita Armonia

9. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

10. Tosca, Opera: E Lucevan Le Stelle

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

11. Carmen, Opera: II. L'amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle

Composer: Umberto Giordano
Title: Fedora, Opera

12. Fedora, Opera: Amor Ti Vieta

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera

13. Rigoletto, Opera: Gualtier Malde!...caro Nome

Composer: Amilcare Ponchielli
Title: La Gioconda, Opera In 4 Acts

14. La Gioconda, Opera In 4 Acts: Cielo E Mar!

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: La Bohème, Opera

15. La Bohème, Opera: III. Quando Men' Vo Soletta

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

16. Carmen, Opera: La Fleur Que Tu M'avais Jetée

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: La Favorita, Opera

17. La Favorita, Opera: O Mio Fernando

Composer: Jules Massenet
Title: Werther, Lyric Drama In 4 Acts

18. Werther, Lyric Drama In 4 Acts: Pourquoi Me Reveiller

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492

19. Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492: II. Voi Che Sapete

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera

20. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera: Un Bel Di Vedremo

Title: Turandot, Opera

21. Turandot, Opera: Nessun Dorma

x

Track List: Ave Maria

Composer: Charles Gounod
Title: Meditation On Prelude No. 1 Of Bach, For Violin Or Cello & Piano With Organ Or Cello Ad Lib. (or Other Instrumental Arrangements)

1. Meditation On Prelude No. 1 Of Bach, For Violin Or Cello & Piano With Organ Or Cello Ad Lib. (or Other Instrumental Arrangements): Ave Maria

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Cantata No. 147, "Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben," Bwv 147 (Bc A174)
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Vesperae Solennes De Confessore For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra, K. 339
Title: Ave Verum Corpus, Motet For Chorus, Strings & Organ, K. 618
Title: Exsultate, Jubilate, Motet For Soprano & Orchestra, K. 165 (K. 158a)
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Title: Hear My Prayer ("O For The Wings Of A Dove"), Hymn For Soprano, Chorus & Organ Or Orchestra In G Major
Composer: Franz Schubert
Title: Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), Song For Voice & Piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
Composer: Johannes Brahms
Title: Songs (5) For Voice & Piano, Op. 49
Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Title: Cantique De Jean Racine, For 4-part Chorus & Organ (Or Orchestra), Op. 11
Title: Requiem, For 2 Solo Voices, Chorus, Organ & Orchestra, Op. 48
Composer: César Franck
Title: Panis Angelicus For Tenor, Organ, Harp, Cello & Bass

11. Panis Angelicus For Tenor, Organ, Harp, Cello & Bass: Panis Angelicus

Composer: Charles Gounod
Title: Mors Et Vita, Trilogy Of Oratorios For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra
Title: Repentir ("O Divine Redeemer"), Song For Mezzo-soprano & Orchestra
x

Track List: Essential Opera

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

1. Carmen, Opera: Prelude

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Tosca, Opera

2. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Il Trovatore, Opera

3. Il Trovatore, Opera: I. Vedi! Le Fosche Notturne Spoglie

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: La Bohème, Opera

4. La Bohème, Opera: I. Che Gelida Manina!

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492

5. Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492: Voi Che Sapete Che Cosa E Amor

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera

6. Rigoletto, Opera: Act Three: Bella Figlia Dell'amore

Title: Nabucco, Opera (Nabucodonosor)

7. Nabucco, Opera (Nabucodonosor): Viva Nabucco!

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

8. Carmen, Opera: La Fleur Que Tu M'avais Jetée

Composer: Alfredo Catalani
Title: La Wally, Opera (Dramma Musicale) In 4 Acts

9. La Wally, Opera (Dramma Musicale) In 4 Acts: Ebben? Ne Andro Lontana

Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Title: Il Barbière Di Siviglia (The Barber Of Seville), Opera

10. Il Barbière Di Siviglia (The Barber Of Seville), Opera: II. Largo Al Factotum

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Aida, Opera

11. Aida, Opera: Triumph March And Chorus "Gloria All'egitto"

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera

12. Gianni Schicchi, Opera: O Mio Babbino Caro

Title: Turandot, Opera

13. Turandot, Opera: Nessun Dorma

Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Title: Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts

14. Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts: Belle Nuit, Ô Nuit D'amour

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera

15. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera: Un Bel Di Vedremo

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527

16. Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527: II. Finch'han Dal Vino

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera

17. Manon Lescaut, Opera: Donna Non Vidi Mai

Composer: Pietro Mascagni
Title: Cavalleria Rusticana, Opera (Melodramma) In 1 Act

18. Cavalleria Rusticana, Opera (Melodramma) In 1 Act: Intermezzo Sinfonico

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Turandot, Opera

19. Turandot, Opera: Non Piangere, Liu!

x

Track List: Masters of the Voice: Soprano

Disc 1
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Opera, K. 620

1. Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Opera, K. 620: Der Hölle Rache Kocht in Meinem Herzen

Title: Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527

2. Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527: Vedrai, Carino

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Title: Fidelio, Opera, Op. 72

3. Fidelio, Opera, Op. 72: Abscheulicher! Wo Eilst Du Hin?

4. Fidelio, Opera, Op. 72: Komm, Hoffnung...meister, Rocco

Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
Title: Die Schöpfung (The Creation), Oratorio, H. 21/2

5. Die Schöpfung (The Creation), Oratorio, H. 21/2: Nun Beut Die Flur

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Alcina, Opera, Hwv 34

6. Alcina, Opera, Hwv 34: Tornami A Vagheggiar

Title: Messiah, Oratorio, Hwv 56

7. Messiah, Oratorio, Hwv 56: He Shall Feed His Flock

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: Don Pasquale, Opera

8. Don Pasquale, Opera: So Anchio La Virtù Magica

Composer: Gioachino Rossini
Title: Semiramide, Opera

9. Semiramide, Opera: Serena I Vaghi Rai ... Bel Raggio Lusinghier

Composer: Charles Gounod
Title: Roméo Et Juliette, Opera

10. Roméo Et Juliette, Opera: Ah! Je Veux Vivre Dans Le

Composer: Richard Wagner
Title: Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Opera, Wwv 86b

11. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Opera, Wwv 86b: Nun Zäume Dein Ross, Reisige Maid

12. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Opera, Wwv 86b: Dir Rat'ich, Vater, Rüste Dich Selbst

Title: Tannhäuser, Opera, Wwv 70

13. Tannhäuser, Opera, Wwv 70: Dich, Teure Halle

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera

14. Rigoletto, Opera: Gualtier Malde!...caro Nome

Title: Aida, Opera

15. Aida, Opera: Ritorna Vincitor!

Title: La Traviata, Opera

16. La Traviata, Opera: E Strano!... Ah, Fors'è Lui

Disc 2
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Tosca, Opera

1. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera

2. Gianni Schicchi, Opera: O Mio Babbino Caro

Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera

3. La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera: Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta

Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opera

4. Carmen, Opera: Je Dis Que Rien Ne M'epouvante From Carmen-bizet

Composer: Léo Delibes
Title: Lakmé, Opera

5. Lakmé, Opera: Ou Va La Jeune Indoue (Air Des Clochettes - Bell Song)

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera

6. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera: Un Bel Di Vedremo

Title: La Bohème, Opera

7. La Bohème, Opera: III. Quando Men' Vo Soletta

Composer: Jules Massenet
Title: Manon, Opera In 5 Acts

8. Manon, Opera In 5 Acts: Adieu, Notre Petite Table

Composer: Ambroise Thomas
Title: Mignon, Opera In 3 Acts

9. Mignon, Opera In 3 Acts: Je Suis Titania

Composer: Antonin Dvorák
Title: Rusalka, Opera, B. 203 (Op. 114)

10. Rusalka, Opera, B. 203 (Op. 114): Song To The Moon From Rusalka-dvorak

Composer: Gustave Charpentier
Title: Louise, Opera

11. Louise, Opera: Dupuis Le Jour

Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Der Rosenkavalier, Opera, Op. 59 (Trv 227)

12. Der Rosenkavalier, Opera, Op. 59 (Trv 227): Act I: Die Zeit, Die Ist Ein Sonderbar Ding

Composer: Francesco Cilea
Title: Adriana Lecouvreur, Opera

13. Adriana Lecouvreur, Opera: Del Sultano Amuratte . . . . Io Son L'umile Ancella From Adriana Lecouvreur-cilea

Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Title: Glitter And Be Gay, For Soprano & Orchestra (from "Candide")

14. Glitter And Be Gay, For Soprano & Orchestra (from "Candide"): Glitter And Be Gay

x

Track List: Voice Of Romance

Disc 1
Composer: Umberto Giordano
Title: Fedora, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Gianni Schicchi, Opera
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: Lucia Di Lammermoor, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Tosca, Opera

5. Tosca, Opera: I. Vissi D'arte, Vissi D'amore

Title: La Rondine (The Swallow), Opera
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: L'elisir D'amore, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), Opera
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Title: Don Pasquale, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Manon Lescaut, Opera
Disc 2
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
Title: Tonight, Song (from "West Side Story")
Composer: Cesare Andrea Bixio
Title: Mamma, For Voice & Orchestra

2. Mamma, For Voice & Orchestra: Mamma

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: La Bohème, Opera
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Il Trovatore, Opera
Composer: Friedrich von Flotow
Title: Martha, Opera
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Rigoletto, Opera
Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Title: Don Giovanni, Opera, K. 527
Title: Le Nozze Di Figaro (The Marriage Of Figaro), Opera, K. 492
Composer: Joseph Marie Canteloube
Title: Malurous Qu'o Uno Fenno, Folksong For Voice & Orchestra (Chants D'auvergne, Series 3, No. 5)
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
Title: Les Contes D'hoffmann, Opera In 4 Acts
Composer: Georges Bizet
Title: Carmen, Opéra-comique In 4 Acts
Composer: Eldo di Lazzaro
Title: Chitarra Romana For Voice & Orchestra

14. Chitarra Romana For Voice & Orchestra: Chitarra Romana

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: Aida, Opera
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Title: Turandot, Opera

16. Turandot, Opera: Nessun Dorma

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Please add more by Renata Tebaldi - very famous soprano & u only have one song!
Need more sopranos from 50s and 60s.

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