Exploring Soprano Gabriella Tucci’s Only Two Commerical Recordings

By David Salazar

Many of the great opera singers have the luxury of leaving behind essential recordings. But some of them, unfortunately, don’t get that same opportunity, their voices often getting lost in history.

This is not necessarily the case for the great Gabriela Tucci, born on August 4, 1929. The versatile singing-actress made a big name for herself singing across some of the great opera houses in the world, including La Scala, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna, the Metropolitan Opera, and Berlin, among others.

While her voice can be heard on a number of recorded performances, she only left us with two studio recordings. Here is a breakdown of those gems.

Pagliacci – 1959

This is one of the most famous recordings of the Leoncavallo opera as Tucci was paired with none other than Mario del Monaco for his iconic Canio. The recording also features Cornell Macneil under the direction of Francesco Molinari-Pradelli. Del Monaco, of course, is often hailed as THE greatest Canio in history and the final scene between Tucci and him is quite electric in the way the two jab and then ultimately punch one another throughout vocally, both looking for the knockout.This recording is featured in the 2015 film “Marguerite.”

Il Trovatore – 1961

Her other recording is quite a big one as it stars Franco Corelli, Giulietta Simionato, and Robert Merrill under the musical direction of Thomas Schippers. As was the case with Del Monaco, Corelli is often cited as the single greatest interpreter of this middle-Verdi masterpiece and he forms quite strong chemistry with Tucci in this interpretation. A portion of this recording is featured in “The Immigrant.


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