Orianna Santunione, Carlo Bergonzi, Fiorenza Cossotto, Gian Piero Mastromei, and Ivo Vinco star in this 1973 mono recording of the Verdi opera with Oliviero De Fabritiis conducting the NHK Symphony Orchestra.
Here, we catch Cossotto within the period when she was delivering the meatiest and arguably most satisfying singing of her career. Her voice in 1973 remains a beautiful, distinctive, and responsive instrument, one ideal for conveying both sides of Aida's rival, outwardly fierce yet vulnerable and, ultimately, noble in spirit as well as birth. Carlo Bergonzi's Radamés signs of age-related decline on the great tenor's part are few. The voice is a little thicker and less freely produced than in previous years, and there is evidence here and there of a slight "tug" on some notes from the passagio upwards. The soprano Orianna Santunione, is a far less familiar and celebrated name seems to labor to meet demands of volume, and in the early scenes gives the impression of conserving. However, beginning with her first aria, she begins to pull it together, and somewhere along the way her diligence and responsibility transmute into something more, something quite affecting.