A friend has sent me a Christmas present: Eileen Farrell does Puccini and more. This is something I have never heard before. I have a very nice recital recording I've always loved where she sings Schubert, Debussey and Poulenc, setting the standard for my ears ever since.
When I was very pregnant, I sat in the pit to hear her sing with the Sacramento Symphony. She sang Abscheulischer, Leise leise, and the Liebestod. She just stood there like a stick, but it was glorious.
Puccini from her I had not heard before. It must be a young recording. I mean she must have been relatively young. She had one of the great voices of all time, with a kind of mystical lightness. It did exactly whatever she wanted it to. How can a dramatic soprano sound light? You tell me. Her Puccini is eye opening.