Robert J Farr
, February 2014
In 1965, producer Patricia Foy tempted Gobbi into the studios, surrounded him with some of the UK’s best homegrown talents and filmed the results. The results were shown in 1966 as part of Great Characters in Opera TV series. The present collection from that series was issued to mark the great singer-actor’s centenary year in 2013.
The three roles of Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi and Scarpia were among Gobbi’s most intense interpretations. His portrayal of Scarpia…was repeated by him over nine hundred times. It is particularly famous from the filming of the act two of Zeffirelli’s Covent Garden production alongside Callas and has long been available. This collection also features the arrogant domineering Scarpia of act one…that Gobbi portrays superbly…In this act two portrayal, Marie Collier…[as] Callas…responds superbly to Scarpia’s taunts and evil “I will have you”; likewise her “quanto”.
In the comic role of Gianni Schicchi, Gobbi shows his capacity for humour…However, it is seeking and hearing Gobbi as Rigoletto that is the real highlight. He performed the role on stage more than four hundred times and it shows in his acting of the part and the nuances in his sung portrayal. This is singer-acting as it is rarely seen. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review