Original Air Date: 02/25/1967
Schippers; Price, Bergonzi, Bumbry, Merrill, Hines
On paper this performance looks like the dream cast. It is not. Price who sang possibly her very best performance ever in the opening night Antony and Cleopatra six months earlier, sings much too much on principal with a particularly vulgar opening of Ritorna vincitor. What is most sad is that her first two Aida broadcasts, the first with Gorr, Bergonzi, Sereni, Siepi, and Macurdy under Solti from 1963, the second from 1965 with Dalis, Tucker, Merrill, Ghiuselev, Michalski under Mehta have not been on Sirius. The first I remember vividly , and has been on private European pressings; it is one of the very best Met Aidas. Bergonzi is substantially stronger in 1963; The 1965 performance simply has Mehta as a better Aida conductor than Schippers. Richard Tucker, whose career is not overlooked by the Sirius folk, has not managed to have his Radames on Sirius despite having broadcast the role with Nilsson, Price, and Arroyo. Bumbry is here in the first of her three broadcast Amnerises, and she is better with Arroyo which has been on Sirius. Merrill is in remarkable voice 21 years after his debut (a few too many woofs, but still the most mellifluous Amonasro ever (though plenty of testosterone if not real anger). So here are four relatively recent Aidas (post 1960) which somehow can’t get to the airwaves. This 1967 is on Met Opera on Demand (MOoD) and also appears in the 2013 Verdi at the Met bicentennial box, but it still does not rank as one of Price’s best efforts, or one of the best modern Met Aidas. Available in MOoD. This is also in the new Verdi box , but the missing AIda should be the 1963 with Solti conducting Price, Gorr, Bergonzi, Siepi, Macurdy. Bergonzi cracks in the Celeste AIda and neither Price nor Bumbry are at their best.
Original Air Date: 01/31/1959
Schippers; Sullivan, Della Casa, Harshaw, Cassel, Edelmann
This has been on before, and is a solid peformance from all concerned, not one for the history books, but especially fine work from Harshaw and Cassel. I do want to take note here that the January 1967 Lohengrin in the Wieland Wagner designed production is the only one of new house Lohengrin broadcasts to have not made it on to Sirius. It’s the only chance Sirius listeners would have to hear Christa Ludwig’s Ortrud, or Karl Bohm in the pit. Ingrid Bjoner is not much represented, and all around , it’s a splendid cast. What’s the problem?
Original Air Date: 02/21/1959
Leinsdorf; Warren, Rysanek, Hines, Bergonzi
MOD Audio SID.19160636
This is the Met premiere broadcast of Macbeth, and at least three of the principals are as good as you’re going to get. Mitropoulos was originally scheduled for this production but because of health problems it moved on to Leinsdorf. It’s a loss, but Rysanek more than holds up her end. This performance is also on Met Player for regular listening. Only the second year broadcast from 1960 has not appeared on Sirius (Barioni for Bergonzi) and it also has the duet on the heath cut. Still it would be interesting to hear as the contemporary reviews found the performance even better integrated. This cast was recorded by RCA shortly after the premiere, and this broadcast is available on Met Player. Very solid casting from top to bottom. Bergonzi really is luxury casting singing one of the great Verdi tenor arias, Ah, la paterna mano. Highly recommended.
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO:Mozart
Original Air Date: 02/09/2002
Runnicles; Furlanetto, Uecker, Isokoski, Mattei, Jepson
This is a distinguished group of 21st century Mozarteans. In fact, Furlanetto and Mattei show up together on the Met’s Don Giovanni in February 2003 with Mattei as the Don and Furlanetto as Leporello (this performance is inMet Opera on Demand (MOoD). This Nozze should be as well. Isokoski is a major Countess and Kristine Jepson, whose career has been interrupted by some life threatening health issues continues the long line of outstanding Mozart lyric mezzos. Uecker, without the career either before or after to compare with her colleagues still gives her all. This is the debut season for both Isokoski and Mattei, who have fine reputations as Mozarteans. Furlanetto is actually 3d at 31 in the list of Met Figaros– Siepi at 79, Pinza at 47, which was a bit of a surprise. Furlanetto is on Levine’s studio with Met forces and Te Kanawa, Hampson, and Upshaw. Was Uecker a replacment for Upshaw in this run?This is a distinguished group of 21st century Mozarteans. In fact, Furlanetto and Mattei show up together on the Met’s Don Giovanni in February 2003 with Mattei as the Don and Furlanetto as Leporello (this performance is inMet Opera on Demand (MOoD). This Nozze should be as well. Isokoski is a major Countess and Kristine Jepson, whose career has been interrupted by some life threatening health issues continues the long line of outstanding Mozart lyric mezzos. Uecker, without the career either before or after to compare with her colleagues still gives her all.
Original Air Date: 12/21/1968
Bonynge; Sutherland, Alexander, Giaiotti, Boky
MOD Audio SID.19160638
This is Sutherland’s second Sonnambula broadcast and well equal to the 1963 supporting cast for Sutherland of Gedda and Flagello; Both of Sutherland’s Amina broadcasts are on MOoD. Alexander and Giaiotti are evenly matched substitutes for Gedda and Flagello. Both performances are in MOoD, and well they should be.
Original Air Date: 01/01/9999
Various selections between scheduled operas. Siriusxm Radio and web player will show the Composer and Title.
LA CLEMENZA DI TITO:Mozart
Original Air Date: 04/20/2019
Koenigs; Fang, van den Heever, DiDonato, Murrihy, Polenzani, Van Horn