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By Burton D. Fisher

A NEWLY TRANSLATED LIBRETTO of Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA, English and Italian side-by-side, with tune spotlight Examples.

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Suor Angelica (Opera Journeys Libretto Series)

A NEWLY TRANSLATED LIBRETTO of Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA, English and Italian side-by-side, with track spotlight Examples.

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Example text

He went not alone but with a troupe that was prepared to perform several operas in different cities. They were not what one refers to today as a “touring company,” in which no one singer stands out above the rest. On the contrary, each soloist was encouraged to shine individually, for the success of the tour depended on it. Everyone knew how brilliant Battistini had been as Alfonso in La favorita, so he was given the opportunity to repeat the role in Buenos Aires in the spring of 1881, after Ruy Blas.

This doesn’t imply that our modern system is ideal, because there are still many factors that can result in miscasting. The old rou- Birth of an Artist, 1878–1893 23 tine was not all bad: it allowed audiences to hear a different opera night after night; and during the course of a tour the singers had a better opportunity to break in a role and perfect their performance by doing it over and over. In early March 1882, Battistini’s appearance in Il Guarany “pleased enormously. Impossible to describe how artfully he sings the Brindisi ‘Senza tetto,’ with such an attractive voice.

Some have presumed that the intensity and brilliance of Tamagno’s voice produced the same effect as the volume and sonority of Battistini’s. Later on, however, we shall have occasion to compare the press notices of these two artists in Russia. Battistini’s next assignment was that of Don Carlo in Ernani, a role in which he remained unsurpassed throughout his career (and whose main solos he recorded twenty-six years later). Since Ernani and L’Africana were not among the fourteen operas prepared for his debut, he had to learn them on very short notice.

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