We are very blessed to have had Ghena Dimitrova in the modern era, when technology had advanced enough to catch her in excellent sound. She indeed was the last of the great Italianate dramatic soprano voices. Similarly Susan Dunn was the last of the great Verdi stylists. Do other sopranos sing Verdi, yes, and quite well. Do others also have big voices, yes, indeed!!! But the open and natural vocality, the MASTERY OF THE CHEST TONE, the refined use of the head tone, and natural feeling for the word were in totality, lost when Ghena Dimitrova died. I don't blame the singers though, but the milieu. I can GUARANTEE that there EXIST TODAY singers in the Dimitrova mold, who have not and are not being encouraged, guided, appreciated, and least of all understood. Their time will come and the strong will survive.
In this recording Riccardo Chailly directs Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera for the first time in his function as General Music Director of the Leipzig Oper on the 2nd of November 2005. Un ballo in maschera is as exciting as a thriller, but with a passion that can only be experienced in a Verdi opera. It stands to reason that only a man of equal passion would have the ability of bringing this spectacle to the stage adequately.
Verdi's Requiem–certainly one of his most moving, eloquent masterpieces–was written in honor of the great Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni, whom he admired enormously both for his writings and his political outlook. Though its text is the Latin liturgy, it has been called Verdi's greatest opera because of its basically dramatic character, as well as his own ambivalent attitude toward organized religion. Thus, interpretations tend to emphasize its secular or its sacred aspect, though, naturally, the soloists are trained in the Verdi opera tradition.