Met Opera on Demand Catalog
I Vespri Siciliani
(Mar. 9, 1974)
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe, trans. By Eugenio Caimi
Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 36 min.
This astonishing cast introduced Vespri to Met audiences only a few weeks before this broadcast and opera lovers fought for tickets to hear in person what all the excitement was about. James Levine’s conducting was as passionate as it was authoritative, and the singers responded with performances that are still talked about with awe. Montserrat Caballé is lustrous as Elena, the young woman whose marriage to Arrigo (Nicolai Gedda) ignites a bloodbath. Sherrill Milnes is in top form as Monforte, the hated oppressor, who turns out to be much more than he seems.