Notes & Reviews:
You could say that Sylvia Sass had taken the best from Callas's and Sutherland's Norma ... 'Sempre libera', which sounds appropriately hectic, is fearlessly done (with a tender, ardent incursion from Ian Caley as Alfredo) ... her vibrant 'Suicidio' is undeniably exciting ... The Decca recording is faultless.
The very first phrases of the opening aria (Turandot's 'In questa reggia', no less) command attention and let you know that something rather special has arrived on the scene. And as the Puccini arias follow one another it becomes quite clear that here is an exceptional singer, distinctive in timbre, distinguished in artistry. The voice glitters rather than soothes, shines rather than warms. It is powerful, has a wide range, and is firmly placed. The tone can be brilliantly luminous (as in the Turandot aria), or may acquire a deeper kind of radiance (as in the 'Vissi d'arte' that follows it).