Ah, Tito Schipa, the ideal that most modern opera performers aspire to has been dead since 1965. His legacy remains as intact an unconquered as ever. Who else but the Italian Schipa could have been an avid supporter of Mussolini, but still be welcomed with open arms by post-war American audiences? He sang schmaltz without being schmaltzy, sang big, pompous songs with such tenderness and off-key frailty that made the songs everyone's, and not just the classics-loving rich and powerful. His voice was equally at home in the small stages of his early performances to the packed opera halls he sang in until right before his death at 76.
This CD covers most of his best, from Tosti's lively 'A vucchella' (Give me a little kiss, a whole chain of them/then steal one for yourself) to De Curtis's poignant love song 'Tu, can nun chiagne!' (You who don't cry, are making me cry/but all the same, it's you I want).
by Holly Day