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Composer: Hector Berlioz
Librettist: Hector Berlioz
Levine; Hunt Lieberson, Voigt, Heppner, Croft, LloydMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 3 min.
From \"James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met\" CD Box Set\r\rPerformances of Berlioz’s epic masterpiece are rare events—under James Levine’s inspired leadership, the stellar cast and the Met’s chorus and orchestra triumphantly meet the enormous challenge. Ben Heppner is the legendary Trojan hero Aeneas who escapes the doomed city of Troy an...
Composer: Samuel Barber
Librettist: Gian Carlo Menotti
Steinberg; Costa, Elias, Thebom, Tozzi, Christopher, GrahamMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 1 hrs. 46 min.
Samuel Barber’s opera had it world premiere at the Met in 1958. In this first revival, soprano Mary Costa took on the title role of the beautiful woman who has waited 20 years for the return of her lover, Anatol. But the man who appears is a younger Anatol, her lover’s son, sung by John Alexander. Rosalind Elias as Erika, Vanessa’s niece, and Giorg...
Mitropoulos; Steber, Elias, Resnik, Gedda, TozziMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 0 min.
This broadcast, recorded just two weeks after Vanessa’s Met world premiere, presents the original cast in spectacular form. Eleanor Steber is marvelous as the title heroine, a beautiful woman awaiting the return of her long-lost lover. But the man who arrives is his son, Anatol (a suave Nicolai Gedda). The handsome youth plays a dangerous emotional...
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Charles Duveyrier and Eugène Scribe
Levine; Scotto, Ochman, Elvira, RaimondiMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 37 min.
Verdi’s gripping tale of Sicilians rising against the occupying French stars Renata Scotto in her only broadcast of this rarely heard masterpiece. From the beginning of the opera, when Elena (Scotto) sings an “innocent” song fanning the people’s resentment against the foreign army, to the end, when the ringing of her wedding bells signals the start...
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
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...
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...
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...
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