Review of a book on Giovanni Martinelli

Paolo Padoan & Maurizio Tiberi: Giovanni Martinelli, un leone al Metropolitan
Edizioni TimaClub 2007, with 2 CDs, 495 pages

This is quite an exhaustive book on the tenor. It covers: his childhood, military service, his debut in a major role as Ernani (having previously sung the Messenger in Aida), his encounter with Puccini and Toscanini, the American adventure, Buenos Aires, his career at the Metropolitan, his mature years, the radio and his visits in Italy, Otello, his relationship with Mussolini, the tribute by his daughter, his lecture in London, a chronology, list of co-interpreters, repertory, discography, and an index.

The book is filled with a multitude of pictures, some never seen before. The book is a must for all tenor lovers, even if Martinelli is not one of your favorite singers. The book has 2 CDs. Their contents are the only disappointment: the Carmen excerpts with Farrar and Amato, the Otello excerpts with Jepson, Tibbett and Massue, songs including Giovinezza (with a shaky high note), some unpublished items (La Juive: Dieu que ma voix tremblante; Torna a Surriento), an interview from 1968, an invitation, with Elmo and Lazzari, to contribute to the Met Opera Guild Fund, and the Altoum sortita from 1967 (the item I like most on the 2 Cds).

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