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French Opera Masterworks

Release Date: 10/16/2007 
Label:  Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog #: 9802   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jacques HalévyHector BerliozCharles GounodGeorges Bizet,   ... 
Performer:  David GwynneYasuko HayashiRichard TuckerMichelle Le Bris,   ... 
Conductor:  Anton GuadagnoGeorges PrętreSir Georg SoltiJean Fournet,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden OrchestraRoyal Opera House Covent Garden ChorusRome Opera House Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 14 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This present recording comes from a live concert performance taped in London in 1973, an evening mounted for the American tenor Richard Tucker, who championed the work for years... This performance is vibrant, with Tucker’s superb tenor in excellent shape, his pointed delivery of the text intelligent. Of course, given the opportunity, he sobs a bit and snaps off high notes with little elegance, but for the most part he is in superb form and his fans won’t be disappointed... Anton (his name is not Antonio, as is stated in the notes) Guadagno has a real feel for the work, and this recording radiates excitement.

– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing La Juive, previously released as Opera d'Oro 7022

Read more /> The finest all-around Carmen on discs remains the Solti-led 1973 performance from Covent Garden on Opera d’Oro: Shirley Verrett, Placido Domingo, Te Kanawa, and José van Dam sing rings around almost all of the competition individually, and as a dramatic whole, the opera really works.

– Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com, reviewing Carmen, previously released as Opera d'Oro 1358

Vickers tended to nerves and over-meticulousness at times in the studio; not so in this 1964 Amsterdam radio performance. It catches him at the top of his form: “Arrètez, ó mes frères!” is superb, and may have helped inspire the entire subsequent broadcast. Oralia Dominguez never received the recording contracts she deserved, but here she displays just how wrong that was. Both arias, but especially “Printemps qui commence,” are fine examples of seduction, and if she never produces a velvet tone such as one wishes in this role, she is a fine interpreter, capable of softening her voice to good effect.

Jean Fournet is mostly forgotten, but he conducts with energy and great attention to detail. The Netherlands Radio Orchestra of the day does not cover itself with laurels, unfortunately, sporting several missed entries and some ragged sectional playing... This is my favorite available performance of Samson et Dalila , and has been for some time, in its various LP, tape, and CD incarnations.

– Barry Brenesal, FANFARE, reviewing Samson et Dalila, previously released as Opera d'Oro 1405 Read less

Works on This Recording

La juive by Jacques Halévy
Performer:  David Gwynne (Bass), Yasuko Hayashi (Soprano), Richard Tucker (Tenor),
Michelle Le Bris (Soprano), Juan Sabaté (Tenor)
Conductor:  Anton Guadagno
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
La damnation de Faust, Op. 24 by Hector Berlioz
Performer:  Roger Soyer (Bass), Marilyn Horne (Mezzo Soprano), Nicolai Gedda (Tenor),
Dimiter Petkov (Bass)
Conductor:  Georges Prętre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; France 
Faust by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Robert Massard (Baritone), Luigi Alva (Tenor), Mirella Freni (Soprano),
Gianni Raimondi (Tenor), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass)
Conductor:  Georges Prętre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
Carmen by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (Soprano), Shirley Verrett (Mezzo Soprano), Placido Domingo (Tenor),
José van Dam (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Samson et Dalila, Op. 47 by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Oralia Dominguez (Mezzo Soprano), Jon Vickers (Tenor), Ernest Blanc (Baritone)
Conductor:  Jean Fournet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; France 
Lakmé by Léo Delibes
Performer:  Alessandra Ruffini (Soprano), Giuseppe Morino (Tenor), Bruno Praticň (Baritone)
Conductor:  Carlos Piantini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian International Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Easy on the Ear April 20, 2013 By E. Barnes (Herndon, VA) See All My Reviews "You can get recordings of live performances of operas all over the place. Many are not terribly listenable for one reason or another, but all of these are quite easy on the ear, and you can't beat the price. Richard Tucker gives us a superb Eleazar in La Juive (Covent Garden, 1973). Nicolai Gedda, Marilyn Horne and Georges Pretre give us a brisk La Damnation de Faust of thrilling immediacy (Rome Opera, 1969). Gounod's Faust features Mirella Freni in her prime and a dependable Nicolai Ghiaurov (La Scala, 1967). Probably the best recorded opera of the set is Carmen with Shirley Verrett, Placido Domingo, and Kiri Te Kanawa. It's a performance of the Opera Comique version (not the grand opera version) with spoken dialogue and an all-in Georg Solti conducting (Covent Garden, 1973). Jon Vickers hits one out of the park as Samson in Samson et Delila (Netherlands Radio broadcast, 1964). Finally, an all-Italian cast acquit themselves wonderfully in Lakme (Martina Franc Festival, 1991). Some great ear candy here for the jaded opera lover." Report Abuse
 Masterworks indeed! April 11, 2013 By Robert Elden (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "I never expected to be as bowled over as I have been listening to the six operas contained in this boxed collection. Each of the many artists performing in these recordings has been caught in their glorious prime. Each and every voice is resplendent and collectively they vocally capture their character's emotions effortlessly and with deep conviction. This compilation is indeed to be treasured....and what a bargain!" Report Abuse
 great opera at a price April 9, 2013 By daniel abrahams (palm bay, FL) See All My Reviews "pleasantly surprised not many recordigs of la juive an so if that was the only recording in the box i would have purchased it" Report Abuse
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