Notes & Reviews:
American soprano Anna Moffo achieved instant stardom with a performance of Puccini's Madama Butterfly for Italian television. Her performance earned her phenomenal acclaim, and with good reason. It was not long before Miss Moffo established herself as a leading force in the operatic world. Miss Moffo's spontaneous and deeply-felt dramatic instincts, supported by her striking physical beauty, brought a rare dimension of realism to her portrayals of the great operatic heroines.
On The Voice of Firestone program of January 13, 1963, Miss Moffo is joined by the great baritone Robert Merrill, with whom she appeared often on the operatic and concert stage.
The nearly unrecognizable twenty-six-year-old soprano is in spectacular vocal shape, reminding us that "Quando me'n vo" can actually have a saucy, unforced charm. Moffo is equally effective in a costumed "un be di," slightly lightening her timbre as the teenaged Cio-Cio-San, a role she had already performed on Italian television in 1956.
By the January 1963 telecast, when a post-rhinoplasty Moffo appears with Rober Merrill at a gala dinner honoring Richard Rodgers in the Waldorf Astoria Grand Ballroom, she has become the glamorous star who was voted one of the ten most beautiful women in Italy. Wit clouds of cigarette smoke swirling up the tables of society folk, Moffo delights the audience with an idiomatic jewel song, as well as Rodger's's "It's a Grand Night for Singing" and an oddly laid-back "Climb Ev'ry Mountain." Finally, from March 1963, at which point she was fully ready to host her eponymous TV show in Italy the next year, Moffo offers a deluxe costumed "Balatella" and as sexy and delicious a "Love is Where You Find It" as one could imagine, helmed by Arthur Fiedler and complete with slinky evening rests, vocal obbligato and star 'ography.