Aragall’s Se Romeo… La tremenda ultrice spada
- Romeo: Jaume Aragall
- Giulietta: Margherita Rinaldi
- Tebaldo: Luciano Pavarotti
- Capellio: Nicola Zaccaria
- Lorenzo: Walter Monachesi
Conductor: Claudio Abbado | Residentie Orchestra, Den Haag | Coro del Teatro comunale di Bologna, 30 June 1966
Curiosity got the better of me and I finally attempted to listen to this recording boasting a male Romeo. Sacrilege, I know, but I really wanted to see how it would sound. Two minor things first: Pavarotti is a pretty neat Tebaldo1 and Nicola Zaccaria fares better as Capellio2 than as Argirio, before I get to the matter at hand: Aragall’s Romeo.
Aragall certainly has a beautiful, soulful voice, I’ll give him that; he might be quite pleasant in other roles. He fares nicely during the Se Romeo…3 bit but err, where is the fire, man – ma su voi vi cada il SANGUE! – the fire, during La tremenda ultrice spada? Yo! You’re supposed to be vicious, foaming at the mouth with fury and hatred and he’s sort of regal, waltzy even and taking his time (or was that Abbado? Whoever it was, bloody bad decision4 – there goes the momentum…) and really melancholic. No wonder Romeo accomplishes fuckall by the end of the opera. Holy cow, that cabaletta came off so bad I had to cleanse my ears with the proper rendition. See what I mean? No fuckin’ comparison. But because I’m still curious – I like this opera too much – and because I want to hear Rinaldi’s Giulietta, I will get around to listening to it in entirety at some point, when I’m doing housework or something.
- He must’ve been at the very beginning of his career, can’t imagine him singing such a thankless role ever again. Whilst we’re on Pav, why not have him as Romeo, he seems better suited to it if we’re to have a tenor sing it. ↩
- Although not a great Capellio, but that’s another thankless role that won’t get people buying CDs. ↩
- If you like your Romeo overly sentimental and gentle as a sleepy teddy-bear. ↩
- Must’ve been Abbado, E serbata a questo acciaro gets the same treatment but there it makes sense. ↩