Soprano Anna Moffo was born in Pennsylvania in 1932 of Italian parents. After a period at the Curtis Institute, she went back to her ancestral homeland to study in Perugia and Rome. She made her debut in 1955 at Spoleto, as Norina in Don Pasquale, but her big break came when she starred as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly in a production broadcast on RAI. She became an overnight celebrity, with performances at Salzburg, Vienna, La Scala, and Naples, performing with Callas, di Stefano and Panerai, and making recordings with Karajan. She made her Met debut in 1959 as Violetta, one of her signature roles. Moffo was one of the most attractive of the post-war sopranos, and resisted attempts to lure her to Hollywood. Her singing was unblemished with mannerisms, and she had superb gifts as a linguist, as the recording of the Canteloube illustrates. The album is a stylishly programmed recital of post-Romantic yet deeply romantic music that makes the most direct possible appeal to the listener. It was a hit on its original release and has not been available for several years.
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