Teresa Zylis-Gara Sings Again

By on June 2, 2013

TZ1I was rummaging around in my old CD collection (the size is a source of some embarrassment these days) and came upon this great recital of slavic opera arias and put it on again. God, is it good.

TZRI bought this disc many years ago in the early days of compact discs and it has grown to be one of my favorites. I heard this singer live with the Deutsche Oper on tour in Tosca in the 1980’s opposite Domingo whom I just saw conducting a great Tosca in Los Angeles in May. She has a wonderful voice, powerful yet flexible, sweet yet expressive, at home in Strauss or Mozart, Puccini or Tchaikovsky. She sang at the Met, Covent Garden, Vienna, La Scala and the Bolshoi in her day. Like many central European singers she had to be something of a linguist. Clearly she was not just something off the The Voice or America has Talent.


TZ2What makes this so wonderful is the quality of the singing, accompanied idiomatically by what must be the Warsaw Philharmonic under its then director Kasimierz Kord. What makes it unique are the two arias by her Polish countryman Moniususko. The aria from Paria in particular is one to be heard and heard again. Why is this not better known? The Tchaikovsky is idiomatic — The Queen of Spades gets right under your skin, the Onegin letter scene is one of the best I ever heard, and the Czech arias are excellently done. Slavic music is often portentious or plaintiff, and this disc gets it all right.

WPI notice that someone in Poland is offering this recital again at Amazon, combined with a second recital that she did of more main stream works including Puccini, Verdi, Mozart and Gounod(link below) . Wikipedia says she is living happily in retirement in Monte Carlo. I wish her well. I’m especially glad some of her compatriots caught her in her prime and continue to honor her accomplishments. She deserves it.

Great stuff!
Curtis Rittenhouse



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