Lucky for the non-Italian speakers, it comes in both an English version and an Italian version which is available at the Teatro alla Scala book store; I decided to buy the Italian version, although I’m admittedly reeling over all the BIG ITALIAN WORDS that I just can’t wrap my little brain around :(
The box set features packaging akin to a DVD. BUT WHARS THE LIBRETTO? It is nowhere to be found. It is a mystery. What is included: two CDs of the live recording of the Cantelli-conducted Così fan Tutte from Teatro alla Scala on January 27, 1956. We have Elisabeth Schwarzkopf as Fiordiligi, Nana Merriman as Dorabella, Rolando Panerai as Guglielmo, Luigi Alva as Ferrando, Graziella Sciutti as Despina, and Franco Calabrese as Don Alfonso.
There is a six-page insert displaying the letters relevant to Così fan Tutte between Walter Toscanini and Guido Cantelli (with Toscanini's letterhead from 655 West 254th Street, dating from October 19, 1955), as well as a telegram from October 30, 1955.
There is also included a paperback written by Guido's wife, Iris Cantelli, Un Mucchio di Mani (Translation: "A Bunch of Hands"), which is a substantial 174-page memoir, and includes anecdotes of their life together. The last few pages are very touching, where she reflects on the death of her husband.
If that wasn’t enough, we have Cantelli remembrance-weekend-overload. At Cantelli’s hometown opera theater,
Fondazion Teatro Carlo Coccia di Novara (warning: loud, embedded music), a commemoration has been scheduled. Novara is boasting a limited-edition, printed envelope and matching postcard (sponsored by Poste Italiane), bearing the seal of Comune di Novara, which can only be procured at the theater this Saturday.
But Sunday is pretty much the kewlest day, with a 9:00 pm concert of Orchestra Cherubini, directed by Riccardo Muti (a symbolic choice, as he was the first winner in 1967 of the “Premio Cantelli per Giovani Direttori d’Orchestra”, an award that was given for superb direction of the Orchestra Cherubini). The program is Schumann’s Concerto for Cello and orchestra in A minor (opus 129), Schubert’s Overature from “Die Zauberharfe”, and Beethoven’s 7th. LUCKY!
My critic of Cantelli’s Così fan Tutte? It’s so sweet and light, and pretty good quality for a live recording. I’m listening to it rite now and it is da bomb.