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Christie Grimstad, April 2017

Although famed Austrian tenor, Richard Tauber, was slated for the title role at the Viennese premiere in 1925, he couldn’t obligate himself due to a prior concert booking. Nonetheless, he went on to successfully appear in Berlin’s 1926 engagement despite his “unpersuasive” looks in capturing the essence of Paganini, the composer. Lehár tailored his music to fit M. Tauber’s voice, yet Mr. Theba adds his own cinematic dimensions that get to the core of Paganini: deeply rugged looks, devilishly virtuosic talents on the violin (wonderful), intoxicating personality and an acting acumen which make him out to be a persuasive womanizer. This works exceedingly well in this Arthaus Musik DVD. Antonio Theba’s tenor register has supple flexibility to attain Lehár’s occasionally high reaches though these notes tend to come in with half the voice. Teresa Stratas is a dream soprano with brassy edging and bona fide acting skills. © 2017 Read complete review

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