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Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist: Arrigo Boito
Levine; Te Kanawa, Vickers, StewartMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 19 min.
There is nothing more exciting in the theater than witnessing the birth of a genuine star, and this is a prime example: Kiri Te Kanawa’s Met debut, made on only a few hours’ notice. She stepped on stage a virtual unknown, but after her ravishingly sung, deeply poignant portrayal of Desdemona, she was instantly beloved by opera lovers around the wor...
Cleva; de Los Angeles, Del Monaco, WarrenMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 7 min.
For many opera fans tenor Mario Del Monaco simply was Otello. His brilliant, ringing voice was enormous, but he could also scale it down to a haunting whisper. This is a performance of gripping dramatic power that will never be forgotten. Fortunately this broadcast also includes the renowned Victoria del los Angeles as a melting Desdemona, and the ...
Bychkov; Fleming, Botha, GuelfiMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Shakespeare and Verdi, two colossal creators at the height of their dramatic genius, unite to create an overwhelming masterpiece. Clarion-voiced tenor Johan Botha is Otello, the acclaimed warrior, hero, and ruler, who is insidiously destroyed by his own inner weakness and insecurity. Carlo Guelfi is his malicious, conniving aid, Iago, and Renée Fle...
Levine; Zylis-Gara, Vickers, QuilicoMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 18 min.
This memorable performance marks the first time James Levine conducted Otello for a Met broadcast. He brings thrilling power and lyric sweep to Verdi’s late masterpiece, leading orchestra, chorus, and soloists in a towering performance. It’s not hard to understand why the great singing actor Jon Vickers owned the role of Otello for a generation: ev...
Composer: Richard Wagner
Librettist: Richard Wagner
Levine; Urmana, Domingo, Ketelsen, Wlaschiha, TomlinsonMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 11 min.
The mystical enchantment of Wagner’s last opera means it has special place in the hearts of opera lovers. On the surface, it’s the story of Parsifal’s quest to restore the Holy Grail. But for many listeners it is also a profound inner journey that takes them to a unique place. James Levine’s conducting of the work has become legendary, and our all-...
Levine; Ludwig, Vickers, Weikl, Shinall, TalvelaMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 6 min.
Hearing either Jon Vickers or Christa Ludwig, two of the most riveting singing actors of their time, in Parsifal would be cause for celebration. This recording presents both of these great artists in their only joint broadcast of Wagner’s mystical opera, with James Levine bringing his own special magic to the occasion, making it indeed a Parsifal f...
Levine; Dunn, Hofmann, Stewart, Meredith, HinesMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 4 hrs. 24 min.
Wagner’s mystical opera makes extraordinary demands on the conductor, but James Levine is renowned for the special affection and authority he brings to this transcendent work. The music shimmers and glows, evoking the legendary world of the Knights of the Holy Grail and the pure fool who brings healing power to the land. Peter Hofmann stars as the ...
Composer: Claude Debussy
Librettist: Maurice Maeterlinck
Rattle; Kozená, Palmer, Degout, Finley, WhiteMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 52 min.
Star conductor Simon Rattle leads a superb cast in this mesmerizing performance of Debussy’s rarely staged opera. Stéphane Degout and Magdalena Kožená are the tragic title couple—lovers caught in a web of passion as strong as it is forbidden. Gerald Finley delivers a remarkable portrayal of Golaud, Mélisande’s husband and Pelléas’s half-brother, an...
Levine; von Stade, Croft, Horne, Braun, LloydMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 34 min.
James Levine’s affection for Debussy’s masterful score creates a performance rich in orchestral and vocal colors, with all the subtle emotional shifts of the drama vividly brought to life. The magnificent Frederica von Stade is Mélisande, in a production staged for her 25th Met anniversary. Victor Braun and Dwayne Croft are half-brothers Golaud and...
Levine; Pilou, Duesing, Taillon, van Dam, HinesMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 3 hrs. 55 min.
From "James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at thet Met" CD Box Set
James Levine brilliantly leads Debussy’s colorful score, illuminating the mysterious world in which the title characters are trapped. Jeannette Pilou is the elusive young Mélisande, discovered deep in a forest by Golaud (José van Dam in an incandescent performance), who marries her. ...
Composer: Benjamin Britten
Librettist: Montagu Slater
Davis; Amara, Vickers, EvansMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 23 min.
The great Jon Vickers sings one of his most acclaimed roles, the tortured fisherman of the title, in Britten’s powerful drama. Hounded by the small-minded local townspeople, with only Ellen Orford (Lucine Amara) and Captain Balstrode (Geraint Evans) on his side, Peter’s slow descent into madness is as searing as it is inevitable. Colin Davis conduc...
Composer: Vincenzo Bellini
Librettist: Felice Romani
Campanella; Fleming, Giordani, CroftMetropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Bellini’s emotion-drenched opera had never been performed at the Met until superstar soprano Renée Fleming revealed its riches to captivated audiences. Gualtiero (Marcello Giodani) is an exiled count, forced to become a pirate. His enemy Ernesto (Dwayne Croft) blackmails Imogene (Fleming) into marrying him, even though he knows she loves Gualtiero....
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