Original Air Date: 12/19/1998
Rizzi; Racette, Álvarez, Chernov
This production had been through multiple cast changes. Originally for Gheorgiu and Alagna, it moved to Fleming, who begged off because of schedule overcrowding. By the time of the broadcast, Levine had been succeeded by Rizzi. Although Marcelo Alvarez sang much better than today, he never quite made the top tier for me; his work in Ballo and Cav/Pag the past few seasons have been very solid. Racette was too generic vocally at thetime of this broadcast, and major move into Puccini and verismo did little good for her voice. Chernov who never quite made it had a lovely voice, if not exactly the Russian Robert Merrill (that was more likely Yuri Mazurok). MOoD also features Ponselle, Steber, Tebaldi, and Cotrubas prior to Racette, and Fleming and Gheorghiu post all of whom are more distinctive. Albanese has 10 broadcasts of her Violetta –5 pre Bing, 5 under Bing, but only her last from 1959 has been on Sirius. Sutherland has a 1964 broadcast that the archives show as having been on Sirius, but it has not been rebroadcast since I started tracking the Sirius rebroadcasts in 2011; De Los Angeles has a 1958 broadcast which has not been rebroadcast. Caballe, despite an opening night did not show for her broadcast (Pilou sang) so one of her most famous roles is not documented on the Met airwaves.
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