Original Air Date: 03/02/1991
Santi; Esperian, Pavarotti, Nucci, Plishka, Koptchak, White
Luisa Miller has done well on the air, although not entering the broadcast repertory of the Met until 1968. The title role has been taken on the airwaves by Caballe, Maliponte (not yet on Sirius!), Scotto, Ricciarelli, and Millo prior to this broadcast; for the tenor role, Tucker, Domingo, Pavarotti (in 1982 with Ricciarelli) led the way. The 1982 performance is also conducted by Santi and features Nucci and Plishka as well. The 1982 performance is on MOoD and I am listening to Tu puniscimi right now. The question is whether Esperian is to be preferred. For my money what I want to hear is either Caballe or Millo or Maliponte who simply have more of a measure of the music than Ricciarelli who has the right equipment, but not sure if she has the right technique. Esperian is even less gifted singer. Either way, Santi’s conducting is too lax for my taste as it was in the house. Levine is a far better Luisa conductor. For my money Act 3 of Luisa Miller is among the greatest acts in the Verdi canon This is the second of Pavarotti’s two broadcast Rodolfos. His 1982 also with Santi ( NO) and Nucci has Ricciarelli in the title role. It’s her most congenial role for a singer who had a short prime but not a short career. The 1982 version with KR is available on MOoD. It’s a good role for Pavarotti, but better to hear the earlier version; one of my favorite early Verdi works, and the last act is as good as anything he ever wrote. — Better to hear Pavarotti with Ricciarelli nine years earlier, also with Nucci and Santi and that is on Met Player.

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