Maria Callas © 2012 Adriaan Fuchs. All rights reserved.

Maria Callas: Beginnings (1923-1951)

“Callas’ art, fortunately, is inexhaustible, even if her recordings are not. She has given us a lifetime’s work to be grateful for, to learn from, and wonder at. The proof is tangible. It is in her recordings. We are in her debt forever. Opera has new possibilities thanks to her. It is up to us to embrace them. After Callas, there is no turning back.”

– Terrence McNally

 

Programme 1: Beginnings (1923-1951)

Broadcast “live” on Fine Music Radio on 7 September 2012.

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2012 marks the 35th anniversary of Callas’ death at the age of 53 on 16 September 1977. Join me, Adriaan Fuchs, in this, the first of four programmes on the legendary Maria Callas, as I trace Callas’ early years from her birth in 1923 in New York, her studies with Elvira de Hidalgo, her “first career” in Greece, those prodigious and now legendary early performances in South America, and her long awaited debut in 1951 at what would become her artistic home – La Scala in Milan.

Podcast Track List

1) “Sono giunta! Grazie o Dio!” from Act II of La forza del destino (Verdi)
Conductor: Tullio Serafin
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan.
Recorded: 1954, for EMI.

2) “Un bel dì” (abridged) from Act II of Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
Recorded “live” on 7 April 1935 in New York, during a broadcast of the Major Bowes Amateur Hour.

3) Variations on “Deh! torna mio bene” (Proch)
Conductor: Manno Wolf-Ferrari
RAI Orchestra, Turin.
Recorded “live” on 12 March 1951 at the RAI Auditorium, Turin.

4) “Suicidio!” from Act IV of La Gioconda (Ponchielli)
Conductor: Antonino Votto
RAI Orchestra, Turin
Recorded: 1952, for Cetra.

5) Isolde’s “Liebestod” (“Dolce e calmo”) from Act III of Tristan und Isolde (Wagner)
Conductor: Arturo Basile
RAI Orchestra, Turin
Recorded: 1949, for Cetra.

6) “O rendetemi la speme… Qui la voce” from Act II of I puritani (Bellini)
Conductor: Arturo Basile
RAI Orchestra, Turin
Recorded: 1949, for Cetra.

7) “Oh! Rimembranza” from Act I of Norma (Bellini)
with Fedora Barbieri (Adalgisa)
Conductor: Tullio Serafin
Orchestra of the Teatro Colon, Beunos Aires
Recorded “live” on 17 June 1949 at the Teatro Colon, Beunos Aires.

8) “Anch’io dischiuso un giorno” from Act II of Nabucco (Verdi)
Conductor: Vittorio Gui
Orchestra of the Teatro San Carlo, Naples
Recorded “live” dqring a performance of 20 December 1949 at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples.

9) “Gloria all’Egitto” (Triumphal March) from Act II of Aida (Verdi)
Conductor: Oliviero de Fabritiis
Orchestra and Chorus of the Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City.
Recorded during a “live” performance on 7 July 1951 at the Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

10) “D’amor sull’ali rosee” from Act IV of Il trovatore (Verdi)
with Leonard Warren (Count di Luna)
Conductor: Guidi Picco
Recorded during a “live” performance of 20 June 1950 at Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

11) “Ah! Crudel!” from Parsifal (Wagner)
with Africo Baldelli (Parsifal)
Conductor: Vittorio Gui
Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma
Recorded during a “live” concert performance given at the RAI Auditorium, Rome on 21 November 1950.

12) “Folie! Folie!… Sempre libera” from Act I of La traviata (Verdi)
with Cesare Valletti (Alfredo)
Conductor: Oliviero de Fabritiis
Recorded during a “live” performance on 17 July 1951 at the Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City.

13) “Merche, dilette amiche” from Act V of I vespri Siciliani (Verdi)
Conductor: Erich Kleiber
Recorded during a “live” performance on 26 May 1951 at the Teatro Comunale, Florence.

14) “Casta Diva” from Act I of Norma (Bellini)
Conductor: Arturo Basile
Orchestra of the RAI, Turin
Recorded: 1949, for Cetra.

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