Original Air Date: 01/28/1978
Pritchard; Sills, Milnes, Gibbs
For a long time this was the only Met broadcast of Thais, but with Fleming’s effort in 2008 one can hear a much fresher sound in the title role. I love Massenet, but I often prefer Esclarmonde to Thais (Manon and Werther are better by far). It’s on twice a year, but has seemed more frequent. Fleming was far preferable. The Sills performance is on MOoD as is the Fleming video. Has been on Sirius a lot. I’m not a big fan of the performance.
Thank goodness this was NOT videoed. Sills did not have enough vocal allure for this role. Fleming’s broadcast and video are available in every format including Met Player, as well as a commercial CD that precedes her Met performances by several years. This Sills Thais is on Met Player and appears disproportionately often in the rotation. Sills clearly brought a number of people to opera but she was one of the first singers I grew weary of because of excessive hype. Her Cleopatra was very fine at NYCO.
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