Review

  • Soprano Birgit Nilsson is featured in a solo 45-minute opera recital, taken from a Bell Telephone Hour color telecast.

    Beginning with "In Questa Reggia" from Puccini's "Turandot," Nilsson demonstrates she can sing works other than Wagner with great effectiveness.

    The air, "Come Unto Me" from Handel's "Messiah" is given a smooth rendition, and Rossini's "Inflammatus et Acensus" presents Mme. Nilsson paired with a strong chorus of mixed voices.

    The ensemble performs Faure's lovely "Sanctus" from "Requiem" by itself, and Nilsson concludes the program with three favorite arias, "Pace, Pace Mio Dio" from Verdi's "La Forza del Destino," "Vissi d'Arte" from Puccini's "Tosca" and finally "Brunnhilde's Immolation" from Wagner's "Die Gotterdammerung."

    This last rendering, along with an earlier "Elisabeth's Prayer" from "Tannhauser," clearly shows Nilsson's instrument being ideally suited to the Wagnerian repertoire. Not only does she excel in cutting through that composer's often heavy orchestration, but her true personality comes vividly to life in German heroines.

    Donald Vorhees beautifully conducts the Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra in this collector's item, produced by Henry Jaffe. Kultur Videos is responsible for having preserved this treasure, and making it available for today's public.