The Complete Supervia

Volume 1-4
Fonotipia/Odeon 1927-1930
CD Marston

8 CD’s by now and I still can’t get enough of the Barcelona born artist whose grave (in London) has recently been restored thanks to a small bunch of dedicated fans.
Supervia is almost like a female Tauber for me, almost anything she touches turns into gold and I can’t praise her high enough. Supervia had beguiling charm, wit and individualtiy but apparently the voice was also rather smallish when heard live (dixit Stignani) which of course on record doesn’t show. Her recordings be it of zarzuela, song or opera always display a vivid personality and imaginative singing. Of course the vibrato was/is legendary –according to eye and ear witnesses live far less intruding than on record- and some may be put off by it but you can recognize the voice at once and all is so very disarmingly delightful. Moreover the flicker in the voice is not always prominent on records either.
Many years back the late Desmond Shawe-Taylor wrote that ‘she was incapable of dullness’, so true. The booklets too are must-reads and I’m most happy to see that Marston records now appeals more often to a vocal authority such as Michael Aspinall (see volume 2+3) for comments. Another one incapable of dullness.
Volume three (1930-32) contains her singing of Carmen opposite a fine Gaston Micheletti, Spanish, English, Italian and Catalan song besides opera arias and Zarzuela. Volume 4 (1932-1933) and the final volume in the series offers her canny incarnation of Léhar's Frasquita along the fine tenor voice of louis Arnoult, Zarzuela and various song repertoire. Desert island discs.

Rudi van den Bulck, Opera Nostalgia