I received two CD's from the Metropolitan Opera.
The first one contains a recording of Bryn Terfel singing one of Don Magnifico's arias from La Cenerentola. He takes it all on and comes out on the right side an amazing percent of the time.
Both CD's include excerpts from a joint concert by Leontyne Price and Marilyn Horne. The first CD includes an outstanding Rossini aria by Marilyn Horne. The second CD includes the two of them performing 'Mira o Norma'. I would not have believed it if I hadn't heard it.
First of all I don't recall Price doing bel canto. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but this was excellent. The tempos were generally slower than Sutherland does them.
Horne knows her place. It is the mezzo's responsibility to accompany the soprano in whatever style she takes, and Marilyn expands to meet Leontyne in a way that is downright thrilling.
Leontyne Price is unique. In my generic complaining about American singers not knowing how to do Italian opera I certainly would never include her. She is the person who best exemplifies my idea to find where this piece intersects your own music. She is always completely herself and completely expressive in Italian repertoire--Bellini, too, apparently.
The other most notable exception is, of course, Maria Callas. We completely forget that she was American.