Great Canadian Singers/L'art Lyrique Au Canada: 1950-1990

Article excerpt

GREAT CANADIAN SINGERS/L'ART LYRIQUE AU CANADA

1950-1990

XXI-21 Productions XXI CD2 1443 (4 CDs)

Some years ago, Montreal's XXI-21 Productions released a magnificent CD, Opera Souvenirs (XXI CD2 1420), with recordings by four great Canadian divas of the past: Sarah Fisher, Pauline Donalda, Eva Gauthier and Emma Albani. Now the same label has put together an anthology of 68 Canadian singers from the second part of the 20th century in a four-CD boxed set. It is a success on every level, beginning with the singular achievement of finding recordings for each of these singers that reflect his or her style and repertoire.

Many of the singers, who are presented alphabetically, will never be heard in live performance again, so it was delightful to encounter the three great tenors Raoul Jobin, Leopold Simoneau and Jon Vickers; George London's towering interpretation of Wotan; the royal voice of Maureen Forrester; and the sumptuous tones of Lois Marshall. Soprano Pierrette Alarie sings Mozart; Teresa Stratas and Giuseppe Di Stefano perform a duet from Massenet's Manon; baritones Louis Quilico, Robert Savoie, Napoleon Bisson, Allan Monk and Gaetan Laperriere do more than justice to the Italian repertoire; and Victor Braun sings Wolfram from Tannhauser. …