Nan Merriman sings Opera Arias

Nan Merriman sings Opera Arias

by Nan Merriman


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Nan Merriman sings Opera Arias

Nan Merriman was an American mezzo-soprano whose career, from about 1952, was centered in Europe and, after 1958, was almost exclusively limited to the Netherlands, where she married Dutch tenor Tom Brand and became a Dutch citizen. Merriman's fully legit studio recordings outside the context of opera or oratorio are relatively few, and most of them have been collected on Testament's Nan Merriman: French and Spanish Songs. By 2007, which found Merriman still among the quick, she had largely been spared the indignity of having her live recordings circulated on labels belonging to low-budget, fly-by-night, European firms; with the advent of Dutch label Bella Voce's Nan Merriman: Opera Arias, it appears her turn has come. This consists of Merriman's most prominent set pieces taken from a live recording of Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito" with Ernst Haefliger in the cast and led by Eugen Jochum from the Concertgebouw Amsterdam on March 21, 1963. Parts of this performance "including some not heard here and vice versa" appear on an Italian Verona disc of Mozart opera excerpts; one wonders if this performance survives complete. If so, it doesn't seem to have surfaced on disc. Excerpts from Saint-Saëns' "Samson et Delila," Thomas' "Mignon," and Tchaikovsky's "The Maid of Orleans" appear to come from a solo recital, also from the Concertgebouw dated February 3, 1962, and led by Jean Fournet. Part of another solo recital includes Italian arias from Donizetti's "La Favorita," Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" (the opera in which she debuted in 1942), and Verdi's "Il Trovatore." This is given with the Omroeporkest under Arturo Basile and no date for the performance is indicated, although one would assume that for Merriman it is also late career. She retired in 1965 with the idea of leaving the opera stage with her voice intact and in full bloom, and her singing here is consistently excellent. It is hard to imagine that the Metropolitan Opera wouldn't hire her as they thought her voice too light; in these live recordings it is deep, dark, rich, and powerful. The sound is best on the undated Omroeporkest recital; the 1962 Concertgebouw recital is a little distant and gritty and the "Clemenza" excerpts are heavily gated at first it sounds like Merriman is singing inside a tin can, though it gets better. Overall, the sound is not so bad, and the liner note is suitably appreciative, identifying Merriman as "a living legend," though not so detailed as to reveal the provenance of the Omroeporkest recital. For Merriman's fans, this Bella Voce release will provide some examples of her singing that may prove treasurable, and certainly the asking price is not too dear. However, if you should happen to run into Nan Merriman on the street, you probably shouldn't mention that you bought this.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/03/2013
Label: Bellavoce Import
UPC: 8712177022595
catalogNumber: 7702259


  1. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 1. Duet. Come ti piace imponi
  2. La clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 3. Duet. Deh prendi un dolce amplesso
  3. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 9. Aria. Parto, ma tu ben mio
  4. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 11. Accompanied recitative. Oh, Dei, che smani
  5. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 12. Quintet with chorus. Deh conservate, oh De
  6. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 14. Trio. Se al volto mai ti senti
  7. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 18. Trio. Quello di Tito è il volto!
  8. La Clemenza di Tito, opera, K. 621: No. 19. Aria (Rondo). Deh per questo istante solo
  9. La favorita, opera: Act 3. Recitative. Fia dunque vero?
  10. La favorita, opera: Act 3. Aria. O mio Fernando
  11. La favorita, opera: Act 3. Cabaletta. Scritto in ciel è il mio dolor
  12. La Gioconda, opera in 4 acts: Act 1. Aria. Voce di donna
  13. Il Trovatore, opera: Act 2. Scene. Condotta ell'era in ceppi
  14. Samson et Dalila, opera in 3 acts, Op. 47: Act 2. Scene 1. Scene and aria. Amour! viens aider
  15. Samson et Dalila, opera in 3 acts, Op. 47: Act 2. Scene 3. Aria. Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix
  16. Mignon, opera in 3 acts: Act 1. Romance de Mignon. Connais-tu le pays
  17. The Maid of Orléans (Jeanne d'Arc), opera: Adieu, forêts

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