The Tenors of the 78 era - Part 1
Cat no.: DV-DOCBEL1
Picture Format: 4:3 Full Screen
Sound Format: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 180 mins
Region Code: PAL All
Booklet Languages: GB, F, D
Recording Date: Various
Their names are synonymous with the art of singing and they are among the first
tenors in history, whose voices we can still enjoy today. Caruso, Gigli, Schipa,
Tauber, Slezak and Joseph Schmidt are the outstanding singers of the early era
of recording. It is the time of the old shellac records and the gramophone when
the proliferation of recorded voices opened up new audiences for opera and operatic
singing. The first part of the documentary film series Belcanto features six
half-hour essays of the "arch tenors" whose influence can still be
detected in today's singing.
Jan Schmidt-Garre, German director and opera specialist has embarked on a journey
back in time to portray these early "superstars". Old film, audio
recordings, friends and family of the singers have been drawn upon to provide
fans with lively, informative and entertaining thirty-minute features on each
The sound documents span over the full singing career of the tenors and cover
the whole variety of genres they sang - from folk music to operatic arias. Some
of the musical examples can be heard from several tenors, which allows comparing
singing style and interpretation. Especially the aria "O Paradiso"
from Meyerbeer's L'Africaine can be heard from almost every tenor in the series.
The first part also includes works by Bizet, Donizetti, Flotow, Halévy,
Lehár, Leoncavallo, Massenet, Mozart, Offenbach, Puccini, Rossini, Schubert,
Tosti and Verdi.
The first part of this documentary series now made available by TDK on DVD
features the Italian and German star tenors of the time. The second part (also
to be released by TDK) will concentrate on the tenors of the first half of the
20th century, mostly from Northern Europe.