Maria Callas © 2012 Adriaan Fuchs. All rights reserved.

Maria Callas: The Voice, the Scandals, the Triumphs (1956-1959)

“It is foolish to discuss her as a voice. She must be viewed totally – as a complex of music, drama, and movement. There is no one like her today. She was an aesthetic phenomenon.”

– Antonino Votto

 

Programme 3: The Voice, the Scandals, the Triumphs (1956-1959)

Broadcast “live” on Fine Music Radio on 21 September 2012.

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By 1956, having conquered the world of opera, Callas had reached what many would argue was the apex of her career. In this, the third programme in my series on Maria Callas, I examine Callas’ career from 1956 to 1959 and dispel some of the scandals and intrigues that established her reputation as “The Tigress”. I also take an in-depth look at Callas’ unique voice and rapid vocal decline. Highlights include a “live” Anna Bolena from La Scala in 1957 and an electrifying Medea recorded in Dallas in November 1958.

Podcast Track List

1) “Al dolce guidami” from Act II of Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
Recorded: 1957, for EMI.

2) “Contra un cor” from Act II of Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)
Conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Recorded “live” on 16 February 1956 at La Scala, Milan.

3) “Una macchia e qui tuttora” (Sleepwalking Scene) from Act IV of Macbeth (Verdi)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Philharmonia Orchestra
Recorded: 1958, for EMI.

4) “Se tradirmi” from Act II of Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
with Enzo Sordello (Enrico)
Conductor: Fausto Cleva
Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, New York
Recorded “live” on 8 December 1956 at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

5) “Coppia iniqua” from Act II of Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
Conductor: Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Recorded “live” on 14 April 1957 at La Scala, Milan.

6) “Ah! non giunge” from Act II of La sonnambula (Bellini)
Conductor: Antonino Votto
Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, Milan
Recorded “live” on 4 July 1957 at the Grosses Opera House, Cologne.

7) “In questa reggia” from Act II of Turandot (Puccini)
Conductor: Tullio Serafin
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Recorded: 1957, for EMI.

8) “In seperato carcere tutti costor sien tratti” from Act I of Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
Conductor: Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Orchestra of La Scala, Milan
Recorded “live” on 14 April 1957 at La Scala, Milan.

9) “Qual suono ferale” from Act II of Il pirata (Bellini)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra & Chorus of the American Opera Society
Recorded “live” on 27 January 1959 at Carnegie Hall, New York.

10) “Dite alla giovine” from Act II of La traviata (Verdi)
with Mario Zanasi (Germont)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Recorded “live” on 20 June 1958 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

11) “Teneste la promessa… Addio del passato” from Act III of La traviata (Verdi)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Recorded “live” on 20 June 1958 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

12) “Numi, venite a me” from Act III of Medea (Cherubini)
Conductor: Nicola Rescigno
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Recorded “live” on 6 November 1958 at the State Fair Music Hall, Dallas.

13) “Una voce poco fa” from Act I of Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)
Conductor: Alceo Galliera
Philharmonia Orchestra
Recorded: 1957, for EMI.

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