Opera Gala

2104
$109.95
SKU —
00028948413980
In stock
Product Code:
00028948413980
RELEASE DATE: 13/11/2020
20 CD

From Adam to Zandonai, from 1954 to 1996, 20 CDs made up of no less than 28 Decca opera recordings, most of them recorded as highlights albums, many long unavailable, newly remastered and all featuring the greatest singers of their age.

In bygone years, before 24/7 streaming, recorded music was less readily available than it is now. Complete opera sets were an expensive luxury; yet opera, and singers, still captured the classical music public’s imagination like no other genre. The advent of LP allowed for up to an hour’s highlights from a stage-work, including the most popular arias and numbers, to be issued in a single, cost-effective product. Listeners who baulked at the cost of Solti’s Ring cycle could nevertheless acquire Birgit Nilsson singing the Immolation Scene on one side the climactic scene of Salome on the other. But with John Pritchard in charge she also recorded a sequence of scenes from Verdi’s Aida in 1963, and four years earlier the first-act scena from Tristan with Grace Hoffman as Brangäne and Knappertsbusch in Vienna.

Many of these ‘highlights only’ recordings have fallen from currency, but now we can all relive the pleasures of Regina Resnik’s Mistress Quickly and Luigi Alva’s Fenton (excerpts from Falstaff, 1963) and Marilyn Horne’s first recorded Carmen (with her husband Henry Lewis, 1970). A sequence of rare Baroque operas features the most husband-and-wife team of all, Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland, in vocally spectacular excerpts from operas by Bononcini, Graun and Handel; Monica Sinclair’s ‘Si spietata’ from Giulio Cesare is an astonishing piece of Baroque virtuosity. Meanwhile single-act operas (notably Cimarosa’sIl Maestro di capella with Fernando Corena, 1960) Wolf-Ferrari’s Il segreto di Susanna, 1976, directed by Lamberto Gardelli) and single acts of Wagner (the first and third acts of Die Walküre in Vienna, 1957) enjoyed all the attention to engineering and dramatic effect for which Decca’s production team was famous.

Further highlights albums functioned as artist showcases: for the superb Greek-French mezzo Irma Kolassi in Berlioz and Massenet’s Werther; Horne again in rare Rossini; and Lisa della Casa reprising her most notable Strauss heroines. The booklet of this uniquely compiled new set includes a new essay by Andrew Dalton on the history of opera highlights on disc as well as many treasurable artist and session photos: Resnik and her luggage, Nilsson and her Valkyrie’s steed, Sutherland and her son in full cowboy rig.

CD 1
ADOLPHE ADAM (1803–1856)
1–28 Le Toréador
Don Belflor - Michel Trempont
Coraline - Sumi Jo
Tracolin - John Aler
Welsh National Opera Orchestra
RICHARD BONYNGE
CD 2
HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803–1869)
1–5 La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24 (excerpts)
Marguerite - Irma Kolassi
Faust - Raoul Jobin
JULES MASSENET (1842–1912)
6–9 Werther (excerpts)
Charlotte - Irma Kolassi
Werther - Raoul Jobin
London Symphony Orchestra
ANATOLE FISTOULARI
CD 3
GEORGES BIZET (1838–1875)
1–7 Carmen (excerpts)
Carmen - Marilyn Horne
Frasquita - Maria Pellegrini
Mercédès - Gwyneth Griffiths
Don José - Michele Molese
Le Dancaire - David Bowman
Le Remendado - Francis Egerton
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
HENRY LEWIS
8–10 Les Pêcheurs de perles (excerpts)
Leïla - Janine Micheau
Nadir - Libero de Luca
Zurga - Jean Borthayre
L’Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris
ALBERTO EREDE
CHARLES GOUNOD (1818–1893)
11–15 Mireille (excerpts)
Mireille - Janine Micheau
Vincent - Pierre Giannotti
Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique
ALBERTO EREDE
CD 4
ARRIGO BOITO (1842–1918)
1–4 Mefistofele (excerpts)
Mefistofele - Nicolai Ghiaurov
Faust - Franco Tagliavini
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Gianni Lazzari, chorus master
SILVIO VARVISO
CD 5
GIOVANNI BONONCINI (1670–1747)
1–20 Griselda (excerpts)
Griselda - Lauris Elms
Ernesto - Joan Sutherland
Gualtiero - Monica Sinclair
Almirena - Margreta Elkins
Rambaldo - Spiro Malas
Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy, chorus master
London Philharmonic Orchestra
RICHARD BONYNGE
CD 6
CARL HEINRICH GRAUN (1704–1759)
1–16 Montezuma (excerpts)
Montezuma - Lauris Elms
Eupaforice - Joan Sutherland
Tezeuco - Joseph Ward
Pilpatoè - Rae Woodland
Erisenna - Elizabeth Harwood
Fernando Cortez - Monica Sinclair
Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy, chorus master
London Philharmonic Orchestra
RICHARD BONYNGE
CD 7
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759)
1–11 Giulio Cesare, HWV 17 (excerpts)
Cleopatra - Joan Sutherland
Julius Caesar - Margreta Elkins
Cornellia - Marilyn Horne
Sextus - Richard Conrad
Ptomlemy - Monica Sinclair
New Symphony Orchestra
RICHARD BONYNGE
CD 8
EMMERICH KÁLMÁN (1882–1953)
1–16 Gräfin Mariza (excerpts)
Gräfin Mariza - Marika Németh
Lisa - Monika Dahlberg
Manja - Sonja Draksler
Graf Tassilo - Peter Minich
Baron Kolomán Zsupán - Herbert Prikopa
Wiener Volksopernchor
Wiener Grosstadtkinderchor
Élémer Horváth Gypsy Band
Orchester der Wiener Volksoper
ANTON PAULIK
CD 9
FRANZ LEHÁR (1870–1948)
1–14 The Merry Widow (excerpts)
Hanna Glawari - Dame Joan Sutherland
Count Danilo Danilovitsch - Werner Krenn
Valencienne - Valerie Masterson
Zo-Zo - Regina Resnik
Camille - John Brecknock
Raoul de St.Brioche - Francis Egerton
Vicomte Cascada - John Fryatt
Njegus - Graeme Ewer
Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy, chorus master
National Philharmonic Orchestra
RICHARD BONYNGE
CD 10
GIOACHINO ROSSINI (1792–1868)
1–2 Le Siège de Corinthe (excerpts)
3–4 La Donna del lago (excerpts)
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy, chorus master
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
HENRY LEWIS
CD 11
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864–1949)
Arabella
1 Er ist der Richtige nicht für mich!
2 Das war sehr gut, Mandryka (Final scene)
Arabella - Lisa della Casa
Zdenka - Hilde Gueden
Mandryka - Alfred Poell
Wiener Philharmoniker
RUDOLF MORALT
3 Der Richtige – so hab ich still zu mir gesagt
Arabella - Lisa della Casa
Mandryka - Paul Schöffler
4–8 Capriccio: Closing scene
Gräfin - Lisa della Casa
Haushofmeister- Franz Bierbach
Ariadne auf Naxos
9 Es gibt ein Reich
Ariadne - Lisa della Casa
Wiener Philharmoniker
HEINRICH HOLLREISER
10 Großmächtige Prinzessin
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756–1791)
11 Mia speranza adorate … Ah, non sai qual pena, KV 416
12 No, che non sei capace, KV 419
Ilse Hollweg, soprano
Erna Gal, piano (Strauss)
London Symphony Orchestra
JOSEF KRIPS
CD 12
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864–1949)
1–4 Der Rosenkavalier (excerpts)
Die Feldmarschallin - Régine Crespin
Octavian - Elisabeth Söderström
Herr von Faninal - Heinz Holecek
Sophie - Hilde Gueden
Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
Wiener Philharmoniker
SILVIO VARVISO
CD 13
GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
1–5 Aida (excerpts)
Aida - Birgit Nilsson
Amneris - Grace Hoffman
Radamès - Luigi Ottolini
Amonasro - Louis Quilico
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
JOHN PRITCHARD
CD 14
GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
1–7 Falstaff (excerpts)
Falstaff - Fernando Corena
Ford - Renato Capechi
Alice - Ilva Ligabue
Nanetta - Lydia Marimpietri
Meg Page - Fernanda Cadoni
Mistress Quickly - Regina Resnik
Fenton - Luigi Alva
Bardolfo - Robert Bowman
Pistola - Michael Langdon
New Symphony Orchestra of London
SIR EDWARD DOWNES
DOMENICO CIMAROSA (1749–1801)
8–12 Il Maestro di Cappella
Il Maestro - Fernando Corena
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
ARGEO QUADRI
CD 15
RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883)
1–14 Die Walküre (Act I)
Siegmund - Set Svanholm
Sieglinde - Kirsten Flagstad
Hunding - Arnold van Mill
Wiener Philharmoniker
HANS KNAPPERTSBUSCH
CD 16
RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883)
1–16 Die Walküre (Act III)
Brünnhilde - Kirsten Flagstad
Wotan - Otto Edelmann
Sieglinde - Marianne Schech
Gerhilde - Oda Balsborg
Ortlinde - Ilona Steingruber
Waltraute - Grace Hoffman
Schwertleite - Margaret Bence
Helmwige - Claire Watson
Grimwerde - Frieda Roesler
Roßweiße - Hetty Plümacher
Siegmund - Set Svanholm
Wiener Philharmoniker
SIR GEORG SOLTI
CD 17
RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883)
Die Walküre
1 Siegmund! Sieh auf mich (Todesverkündigung)
Brünnhilde - Kirsten Flagstad
Siegmund - Set Svanholm
Wiener Philharmoniker
SIR GEORG SOLTI
Götterdämmerung
2 Prologue: Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey
3 Siegfried’s Funeral March
4–6 Tristan und Isolde (excerpts)
Isolde - Birgit Nilsson
Brangäne - Grace Hoffman
Wiener Philharmoniker
HANS KNAPPERTSBUSCH
CD 18
RICHARD STRAUSS (1864–1949)
1–4 Salome (excerpts)
Salome - Birgit Nilsson
Herod - Gerhard Stolze
Herodias - Grace Hoffman
RICHARD WAGNER (1813–1883)
5–7 Götterdämmerung (excerpts)
Brünnhilde - Birgit Nilsson
Hagen - Gottlob Frick
Wiener Philharmoniker
SIR GEORG SOLTI
CD 19
ERMANNO WOLF-FERRARI (1876–1948)
1–12 Il Segreto di Susanna
Conte Gil - Bernd Weikl
Contessa Susanna - Maria Chiara
Sante - Omar Godknow
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
LAMBERTO GARDELLI
CD 20
RICCARDO ZANDONAI (1883–1944)
1–6 Francesca da Rimini (excerpts)
Francesca - Magda Olivero
Paolo - Mario Del Monaco
Giovanni - Virgilio Carbonari
Il torrigiano - Virgilio Carbonari
Biancofiore - Annamaria Gasparini
Il balestriere - Athos Cesarini
L’Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo
NICOLA RESCIGNO
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