It was not only the thundering power of his ''baritonal'' top-notes , with which he conquered his audience. The worldwide fame of Tito Gobbi (1913 1984) was much rather founded on the seemingly endless diversity of his vocal shadings and acting-details, with which he made the characters of his stage-personas into dramatic experiences for his audience. He was a ''sing-actor'', and among his most exciting repertoire were parts like Scarpia (Tosca), Jago (Othello), Michele (Il tabarro), Jack Rance (La fanciulla del West), Posa (Don Carlo), Falstaff and especially Simon Boccanegra. All of these are coming alive again on this 10-CD-box-set. Tito Gobbi was as popular in the US and South-America, as in Europe, and his recordings with Maria Callas are still among the best-selling records of all time. The best examples for his talent, and a good proof for the power of his popularity, are the scenes from ''Rigoletto'', ''Aida'', ''Un ballo in maschera'' and ''Tosca'' in this collection. As the expert John Steane writes in his ''Singers of the Century'': ''Gobbi had one of those intense, individual voices, that put their own stamp on each phrase and each aria alike: in every respect he was the male counterpart to Maria Callas.'' His strong abilities as an actor brought Gobbi many a starring role in the movies, in which he not only convinced with his arias, but also with the ''Canzone'' of his home-country Italy and even the extremely popular ''La Montanara'', a mountainclimber- song from the Dolomites. In all their diversity, the recordings in this collection made between 1942 and 1960 create the brilliant sounding portrait of an artist, who was unequaled among male opera-stars in the second half of the 20th century.
Excerpts from: Tosca, Aida, Rigoletto, Don Carlo, Simon Boccanegra, La Traviata, Nabucco, Macbeth, Otello, Falstaff, Un ballo in maschera, Andrea Chénier, Madama Butterfly, Il tabarro, La Fanciulla del West, Lucia di Lammermoor, La forza del destino, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Pagliacci, Guglielmo Tell, L'elisir d'amore, Canzones, and songs from his movies