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Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
Librettist: Ranieri de' Calzabigi
Rudolf; Amara, Cundari, StevensMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 44 min.
Based on the eternal Orpheus myth, this opera is about a love so strong that it reaches beyond the grave. Orfeo dares the furies of hell itself and brings his beloved Euridice back to life, only to almost lose her once again when human nature interrupts. The great American mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens was acclaimed for her portrayal of the pants role...
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Arrigo Boito
Panizza; Rethberg, Martinelli, TibbettMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 20 min.
Giovanni Martinelli was the Met’s leading Verdi tenor in the first half of the 20th century, and his moving and tragic Otello was the pinnacle of his great career. Elizabeth Rethberg is a moving Desdemona and Lawrence Tibbett brings his superb diction and flexible baritone to the role of the menacing Iago. Conductor Ettore Panizza leads a taut and ...
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Arrigo Boito after the play by Shakespeare
Levine; Millo, Domingo, MorrisMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 13 min.
Plácido Domingo, the leading Otello of his generation, gives an intensely emotional performance as the great warrior destroyed by jealousy in this broadcast of Verdi’s towering Shakespeare adaptation. Aprile Millo is his wife, Desdemona, the innocent woman at the center of the web of deceit spun by the villainous Iago—sung by James Morris, who cele...
Mehta; Caballé, McCracken, GobbiMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
This is the only broadcast of the great Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé as Desdemona, a role that suited her pure, limpid, lyric voice to a T—and which she never recorded. James McCracken’s impassioned Otello is as securely sung as it is moving, and the great singing actor Tito Gobbi is an Iago for the ages. Zubin Mehta conducts the monumental ...
Levine; Te Kanawa, Vickers, StewartMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 19 min.
There is nothing more exciting in the theater than witnessing the birth of a genuine star, and this is a prime example: Kiri Te Kanawa’s Met debut, made on only a few hours’ notice. She stepped on stage a virtual unknown, but after her ravishingly sung, deeply poignant portrayal of Desdemona, she was instantly beloved by opera lovers around the wor...
Cleva; de Los Angeles, Del Monaco, WarrenMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 7 min.
For many opera fans tenor Mario Del Monaco simply was Otello. His brilliant, ringing voice was enormous, but he could also scale it down to a haunting whisper. This is a performance of gripping dramatic power that will never be forgotten. Fortunately this broadcast also includes the renowned Victoria del los Angeles as a melting Desdemona, and the ...
Bychkov; Fleming, Botha, GuelfiMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Shakespeare and Verdi, two colossal creators at the height of their dramatic genius, unite to create an overwhelming masterpiece. Clarion-voiced tenor Johan Botha is Otello, the acclaimed warrior, hero, and ruler, who is insidiously destroyed by his own inner weakness and insecurity. Carlo Guelfi is his malicious, conniving aid, Iago, and Renée Fle...
Levine; Zylis-Gara, Vickers, QuilicoMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 18 min.
This memorable performance marks the first time James Levine conducted Otello for a Met broadcast. He brings thrilling power and lyric sweep to Verdi’s late masterpiece, leading orchestra, chorus, and soloists in a towering performance. It’s not hard to understand why the great singing actor Jon Vickers owned the role of Otello for a generation: ev...
Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
Levine; Urmana, Domingo, Ketelsen, Wlaschiha, TomlinsonMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 11 min.
The mystical enchantment of Wagner’s last opera means it has special place in the hearts of opera lovers. On the surface, it’s the story of Parsifal’s quest to restore the Holy Grail. But for many listeners it is also a profound inner journey that takes them to a unique place. James Levine’s conducting of the work has become legendary, and our all-...
Levine; Ludwig, Vickers, Weikl, Shinall, TalvelaMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 6 min.
Hearing either Jon Vickers or Christa Ludwig, two of the most riveting singing actors of their time, in Parsifal would be cause for celebration. This recording presents both of these great artists in their only joint broadcast of Wagner’s mystical opera, with James Levine bringing his own special magic to the occasion, making it indeed a Parsifal f...
Levine; Dunn, Hofmann, Stewart, Meredith, HinesMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 24 min.
Wagner’s mystical opera makes extraordinary demands on the conductor, but James Levine is renowned for the special affection and authority he brings to this transcendent work. The music shimmers and glows, evoking the legendary world of the Knights of the Holy Grail and the pure fool who brings healing power to the land. Peter Hofmann stars as the ...
Composer: Claude Debussy
Librettist: Maurice Maeterlinck
Rattle; Kozená, Palmer, Degout, Finley, WhiteMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 52 min.
Star conductor Simon Rattle leads a superb cast in this mesmerizing performance of Debussy’s rarely staged opera. Stéphane Degout and Magdalena Kožená are the tragic title couple—lovers caught in a web of passion as strong as it is forbidden. Gerald Finley delivers a remarkable portrayal of Golaud, Mélisande’s husband and Pelléas’s half-brother, an...
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