Di Provenza

It’s a cold and gloomy morning as befitting the first of February, so I thought you might appreciate a touch of the warmth of the South of France. This is Germont’s Aria Di Provenza il mar, il suol from La Traviata by Giuseppi Verdi. The recording – made, incredibly, in 1907 – provides a rare chance to hear the magnificent baritone of the legendary Titta Ruffo whose nickname, appropriately enough, was Voce del Lione “Voice of the Lion”. Despite the limitations of the recording, which required the aria to be cut down to fit within 3 minutes, this is still a stunning performance which makes most modern-day baritones sound like a wet weekend. If you listen carefully right at the end you’ll hear someone say “bravo”…

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