gonzalescd (photo Charles Mintzer)
CD Urtext digital classics

"Irma Gonzales, is one of those fabulous singers who should have had a first-rate international career but, for reasons incomprehensible to me, never did. Her fine work has been almost wholly limited to Latin-America”. *

The first time I ever encountered the name of the Mexican soprano  Irma Gonzales was in a recording bought from ‘mr Tape’ featuring the Pinkerton of Mario Del Monaco.  Excerpts of this performance can be listened to on the Bongiovanni label but not on this two cd set. She does sing Butterfly on this compilation though but the recording dates back six years prior to the Del Monaco performance. It displays the soprano at her very debut in 1945.  A rarity I suppose is the duet from Tosca with the young and vibrant Placido Domingo from a 1965 performance. Much better by the way than the over-parted Chenier of di Stefano (1961)  which we can hear in the final duet, a performance  in which the even younger Placido sang the Abbe and the Incredibile!!  The double cd portrait has live recordings from Turandot, L’Amico Fritz, Mefistofele, Norma (with Oralia Dominguez), Pagliacci, Herodiade, Carmen, Forza, Aida, Otello (with Vickers 1965) Traviata, Manon Lescaut, Manon, Boheme and the Verdi Requiem .
Included is a 25 page booklet (Spanish only) with lots of photos. A must-have Cd set and not only for completists and costing less than 20 dollars!

*Placido Domingo ‘My first forty years’ pp. 75