Ilona Tokody - Suor Angelica
For many years while growing up the only recordings of Suor Angelica, Puccini's remarkably under-popular opera, available to me were the classic Decca Trittico with Renata Tebaldi and this little gem from Hungarton. I used to hire the cassette out on loan from the State Library back when I was a teenager. To me it was a beautiful alternative to Tebaldi's larger than life personification.
Ilona Tokody provided a girlish innocence (and a couple of high notes) missing from Tebaldi and her final scene was beautifully captured by the Hungaraton engineers of the time. I have to admit that the cover image of a nun with fabulously full false eyelashes held to me a certain allure too.
Here is the complete opera for you to enjoy, though if you wish to head straight to the magnificence of the final scene you might like to start at about the 38 minute mark. This is Tokody at her lyrical best and a perfect tribute to this gorgeous soprano on her 62nd birthday.
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