Di Quella Pira
In my last entry I mentioned the machismo of Mario Del Monaco's tenor. Here he is as Manrico in what must be, Otello aside, his signature role. I discovered this today and was somewhat surprised to see that this footage existed. It appears to be some kind of rehearsal tape from the Arena di Verona, only with a lip-synched performance of an edited version of the Decca recording with Renata Tebaldi. You've got to love it, the camp factor rates through the scale!
It shows Del Monaco's matinee idol looks and swagger at their very best, and his miming of the chorus parts is hilariously hammy. The best comment I found on this youtube post was this:
"Best Di Quella Pira I've heard from him, really great! His voice is so big that it magically erases people from the face of the earth ."
His voice was stentorian and huge and he was often accused of being unable to sing at anything less than forte, but to my mind, if I had a voice like that, I would do the same. His was and still is, the most masculine sounding tenor voice on record. As one of my favourite tenors, expect to hear and see more about him in the future.