BELLINI: LA SONNAMBULA - SUTHERLAND, BONYNGE, MAGGIO MUSICALE
“ La sonnambula was Bonynge's and Sutherland's first Bellini recording. Sutherland's Amina in the early 1960s was sung with extraordinary freedom Opera Bellini 178 and exuberance. It's difficult to describe her in the role: it's felt. She doesn't touch a thrilling nerve of passion as Callas can; but in the final scene – a wonderfully sustained and imaginative piece of dramatic, as well as delicate and brilliant singing – she's very moving. Far more so, in fact, than Callas, who overloaded 'Ah! non credea' and made 'Ah non giunge' too artful. It's no good comparing Sutherland with Callas at this late stage, though it's inevitable here, especially as the Elvino, Nicola Monti, sings the role on both sets. Callas does superb things in the coloratura of 'Sovra il sen', Sutherland is full of dramatic fire in the scene in the inn – the tone, the note-shaping is simply exquisite. And Bonynge excels in conducting the choruses.
Bellini: La Sonnambula
Joan Sutherland, Coro del Maggio
Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, Richard Bonynge