Newsletter of the Jussi Björling Societies of the USA & UK


Aida, review, Jussi Bjorling, Fedora Barbieri


Perlea's Aida, recorded in July 1955, is not especially charged with electricity, yet it has some musical gems of great value, among them the Judgment Scene in which the painful identification of Fedora Barbieri (Amneris) and the pure and passionate lyricism of Jussi Bjorling (Radames) blend into something forceful and unique, and the final duet in which Bjorling and Zinka Milanov reach incomparable sublime beauty. The tenor and soprano's paths had crossed for the first time in Prague, also in Aida, on March 14, 1938 (he sang in Swedish, she in Croatian), and curiously, that was their only joint performance of the Verdi work in the theater. Bjorling, who sang Radames 31 times in his career, never wanted to sing the role at the Met (he was somewhat apprehensive of a comparison with the stentorian Mario de! Monaco), where Milanov was until 1956 the most authoritative interpreter of the role of Aida.

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