I was fortunate enough to find this little oddity in a Venetian market earlier this month. As far as I can tell it’s a live recording from a performance of composer G. Donizetti’s “The Elixir Of Love” by The Victorian Opera Company. I don’t know much about Opera, but I loved the handwritten cover and the fact that the master was cut live (a recording technique that seems quite insane by today’s standards).
It’s pressed to a “Mastersound Custom Processed Record” meaning there is no catalogue number, but the matrix in the runout reads “LWG-6833 A”. The label states that the conductor for this session was Leonard Spira and the produce was David Niven. Neither of whom I am familiar with.
As far as I can tell both Margaret Haggard and John Pringle were main stays at The Victorian Opera Company, St. Kilda, Australia . Sadly, I can find no information about the recording other than what’s written on the cover. If I had to guess I would say it was recorded in the mid-seventies.
It’s a lovely performance, sung entirely in English (thank god!), and a relaxing listen. If anyone has information about the recording (especially who the illusive ‘I’ was) please get in contact with me.
It’s a terrible shame that someone who once proudly wrote on the cover what part he sung, then presumably sent his recording halfway around the world had it end up in an old dusty box in a second-hand market. Hopefully freeing the recording makes up for it.
Listen below to hear a long-lost, likely forgotten recording.