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Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe, trans. By Eugenio Caimi
Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, DíazMetropolitan 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 Cab...
Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
von Karajan; Nilsson, Crespin, Veasey, Vickers, Adam, TalvelaMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 29 min.
Wagner’s powerful and wrenching tale of ill-fated love requires a cast of great singing actors, and that’s just what this broadcast provides. Jon Vickers and Régine Crespin are the brother and sister who fall rapturously in love, only to be torn apart by death. The legendary Birgit Nilsson sings Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie of the title who is punished...
Leinsdorf; Flagstad, Melchior, Huehn, Lawrence, BranzellMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 16 min.
This is the only Met Walküre broadcast before World War II with the legendary Kirsten Flagstad as Brünnhilde—an overwhelming portrayal that continues to grip listeners today. Fortunately, this uncut Walküre has a cast for the ages, all in prime form. Lauritz Melchior and Marjorie Lawrence are Siegmund and Sieglinde, twins who fall passionately in l...
Leinsdorf; Nilsson, Kuchta, Dalis, Vickers, Edelmann, WiemannMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 25 min.
Erich Leinsdorf conducts some of the greatest Wagnerian singers of the post-WWII era in this stunning performance of Die Walküre, the highly emotional—and ever-popular—second installment of the Ring cycle. Otto Edelmann is Wotan, lord of the gods, who sees his carefully laid plans go tragically wrong. The incomparable Birgit Nilsson sings Brünnhild...
Levine; Eaglen, Voigt, Schwarz, Domingo, Morris, HalfvarsonMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 46 min.
The waves of emotion that pour forth from the score make Die Walküre the most popular of the four Ring operas. The incandescent Plácido Domingo (Siegmund) and Deborah Voigt (Sieglinde) portray the lovers who are also brother and sister. Jane Eaglen is Brünnhilde, the Valkyrie of the title, who is stripped of her godhood by Wotan, sung by the incomp...
Klobucar; Nilsson, Rysanek, Ludwig, Vickers, StewartMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 35 min.
Wagner’s drama of overwhelming love and devastating loss has seldom been so vividly brought to life as with this all-star cast of great singing actors. The electrifying combination of Jon Vickers and Leonie Rysanek, as twins who fall in love, is legendary. Birgit Nilsson, the defining Brünnhilde of her generation, gives one of her most touching per...
Levine; Behrens, Norman, Ludwig, Lakes, Morris, MollMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 50 min.
It is all about love—an overwhelming, all-consuming erotic love that will not be bound by law; and a father’s deep love for a son he must sacrifice and a daughter he must discipline at a profound cost to himself. In this incandescent performance conducted by James Levine, James Morris’s legendary Wotan is coupled with Hildegard Behrens’s searing Br...
Szell; Traubel, Bampton, Thorborg, Melchior, JanssenMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 3 min.
Even by the Met’s own high standards, this Walküre cast is nothing short of breathtaking. Lauritz Melchior’s truly heroic Siegmund beautifully complements Rose Bampton’s feminine, appealing Sieglinde. No wonder Helen Traubel (Brünnhilde) melts when she sees the depths of their love for each other. But Kerstin Thorborg’s imperious Fricka is unyieldi...
Mitropoulos; Harshaw, Schech, Thebom, Vinay, Edelmann, BöhmeMetropolitan Opera Orchestra
This most popular part of Wagner’s Ring cycle has it all—a pair of impetuous lovers who will stop at nothing to be together; a young half-goddess who changes from a sassy girl to a strong woman when she learns the meaning of love; and her father, the leader of the gods, trapped in a quagmire of his own making, who has to sacrifice the person deares...
Composer: Jules Massenet
Librettist: Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann
Behr; Boky, Elias, Corelli, CossaMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 2 min.
Franco Corelli gives an intense and passionate performance in the title role of Massenet's Goethe adaptation, opposite Rosalind Elias as Charlotte, the young woman Werther falls so overwhelmingly in love with that he cannot conceive of life without her. In one of opera's most heart-rending scenes, Werther shoots himself and dies in Charlotte's arms...
Composer: Jules Massenet
Librettist: Édouard Blau
Runnicles; Evans, Graham, Hampson, RobertsonMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 6 min.
Thomas Hampson offers a rare opportunity to hear the baritone version of this opera’s title part, as arranged by Massenet for the legendary Mattia Battistini. Werther’s tragedy, when performed by a baritone rather than a tenor, takes on an even darker hue. Hampson’s moving portrayal brings out all the idealism, melancholy, and eventual despair of t...
Fournet; von Stade, Kraus, StilwellMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 13 min.
Werther is one of the iconic figures in literature, an innocent young man who feels nature deeply and loves unreservedly. In Massenet’s alluring operatic version, Alfredo Kraus magnificently captures every nuance of this complex character—his aristocratic bearing and pure soul, his anguish that the only woman he can love is promised to another man,...
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