Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meeting and Mourning Di Stefano

Yesterday morning I purchased a brilliant 1953 recording of Puccini's Tosca featuring Giuseppe Di Stefano and Maria Callas.

I've only recently become interested in opera, and it was only today that I discovered the name Di Stefano appeared on nearly all of my favorite recordings. Whether in his work with Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi, Zinka Milanov, or the countless others he appeared with, Di Stefano was no doubt one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century.

In a rough translation of Tosca's final Romanza, "E lucevan le stelle," Di Stefano once famously sang out, "And I have never loved life so much!" before his death in the opera.

It was with that line ringing in my ears and my newfound excitement to discover Di Stefano's catalogue of works that I was saddened to hear of his passing just hours ago. Rest in peace, Giuseppe, your music now lives on.

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