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Tebaldi and del Monaco sing Verdi, Puccini and Boito this week on The Lyric Stage

Two of operas brightest stars in the 1950's and 1960's were Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monico. Tebaldi continues to inspire almost universal love and acclaim, but del Monico was and is more controversial. Some hear a loud crudeness in del Monaco's performances where many others hear passion and beauty. The opposing camps continue arguing to this day in the kind of stand off opera fans love and others don't quite understand.

One thing is clear, they were a wonderful and unique pair, and Decca Records knew it. The company paired the two in 11 full length opera recordings in the 1950's and early 1960s, all best sellers, and this week on the LS we have selections from three of those recordings, Aida from 1952, Mefistofele from 1959, and from 1958, Puccini's The Girl of the Golden West.