Molinari-Pradelli; Elinor Ross, Bergonzi, Anselmo Colzani, Plishka, Franke, Sgarro
Original Air Date: 12/12/1970
Bergonzi has a memorable Cavaradossi in 1959 with Steber and London which is also available on Met Player. Bergonzi is in better form for the earlier broadcast but still a master stylist. He actually does a third Cavaradossi on the airwaves in 1975 with Zylis-Gara and Bacquier under Erede (Met debut 1951! and long absent– now THAT performance interests me. #1 Sirius omission remains the Stella Tosca of 1958 under MItropoulos. There are some uninspiring Tosca casts in the last 25 years, not as bad as Trovatore. This is a break from some of the more common Toscas on Sirius. Ross had a powerful voice. She appeared several times in Philadelphia (often partnered with Tucker in Turandot, Aida, and Gioconda). This is late in her career (not early for Bergonzi or Colzani) tune in to this to hear how late Ross sounds compared to some of today’s Toscas. It’s the Puccini work most in need of a rest. Bergonzi broadcasts Cavaradossi three times, first in 1959 with Eleanor Steber and George London, and in 1975 with Teresa Zylis-Gara and Gabriel Bacquier under Alberto Erede. HIs last Met performance is Edgardo in 1988 with Lucia Aliberti and then eight years later appears in the James Levine 25th anniversary gala. The Steber performance is the best of the three performances, but Ross is worth checking out.
Benini; Alaimo, Netrebko, Flórez, Kwiecien
Original Air Date: 04/15/2006
This is the first year of the production, and I am sorry this was not the one that was filmed for DVD. This was the end of the Volpe era, and when Levine who was originally attached to this production did not appear because of illness (not the most recent one), any televising disappeared — TV production had practically disappeared under Volpe. Alaimo is a superior Pasquale to Del Carlo, and Florez’ Ernesto should have been captured in this Met production. As much as I enjoy this final video with Levine and gang several years later, for the best in Donizetti audio singing, this is the performance you want. I’m not especially partial to either Sills or Peters as Norina, and my favorite is Grist with Kraus, Corena, and Krause under Franci. Even though Netrebko is several voice sizes bigger than Florez, they are both star performers, and give high profile performances. This is the year of the new production, and the unifying presence of Alaimo is no small contribution. I enjoy Netrebko’s HD (also on DVD and MOoD) at the next revival under Schenk, but I’m grateful this performance is in the MOoD.
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA / PAGLIACCI:Mascagni / Leoncavallo
Nelson; Bumbry, Theyard, Colzani / McCracken, Moffo, Milnes
Original Air Date: 01/18/1975
This is Moffo’s final performance broadcast from the Met, and she does not go out on a high note. Milnes is not my preferred Tonio, but I prefer him to Pons who has eight more than Milnes. I prefer MacNeil, Merrill, or Warren among modern Met baritones. The surprise is Merrill only has 22 Tonios with his last in 1960; Caruso (118) and Martinelli(68) are firmly ahead of all Canio competitors, but McCracken is third and by a healthy amount more than any other postwar tenors who are bunched in the 20s. I like Bumbry’s Santuzza, even if it is not as authentic as Cossotto’s. It’s a good fit for her voice.
Levine; Eaglen, Andersen, Halfvarson, Held, Radvanovsky, Palmer
Original Air Date: 04/22/2000
This is one of the two Ring cycles broadcast by Eaglen and Levine. This one finds Eaglen on better form than the 2004 (her Met farewell), but Salminen is a stronger Hagen than Halfvarson. The 2004 has been on Sirius, but even though I previously posted that it was available on MOoD, I do not see it present in current availability. This is Felicity Palmer’s Met debut and really potent Gibich siblings in Held and Radvanovsky.
Original Air Date: 10/24/2019
Wigglesworth; Hong, Park, Barton
Mark Morris’s spirited take on the ancient Orpheus myth stars mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Orfeo, the grieving lover on a quest through the underworld. Soprano Hei-Kyung Hong sings the plaintive Euridice. Mark Wigglesworth conducts Gluck’s elegant score, a pinnacle of the Baroque repertoire.
Original Air Date: 10/25/2019
Armiliato; Pérez, Kulchynska, Polenzani, Bizic, Zhilikhovsky, Park, Woodley
Three casts of captivating artists bring Puccini’s classic tragedy of bohemian friends and lovers to life in Franco Zeffirelli’s immortal staging. Tenors Matthew Polenzani, Roberto Alagna, and Joseph Calleja trade off as the exuberant Rodolfo, alongside sopranos Ailyn Pérez, Hei-Kyung Hong, and Maria Agresta as the fragile Mimì. Marco Armiliato and Emmanuel Villaume share conducting duties.
Original Air Date: 10/26/2019
Maurizio Benini: Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Artur Ruciński, Carlo Bosi
Live in HD SID.19430600
Original Air Date: 11/01/2019
Wigglesworth; Hong, Park, Barton
Original Air Date: 11/06/2019
Morandi; He, DeShong, Caré, Domingo
Original Air Date: 11/08/2019
Kamensek; Larusdottir, Bridges, Costanzo, Blake, Liverman, Bernstein, James
Director Phelim McDermott tackles another one of Philip Glass’s masterpieces, following the now-legendary Met staging of Satyagraha. Star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo is the title pharaoh, the revolutionary ruler who transformed ancient Egypt, with the striking mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in her Met debut as his wife, Nefertiti. To match the opera’s hypnotic, ritualistic music, McDermott has created an arresting vision that includes a virtuosic company of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts in her Met debut.