This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Not to be missed: this is what French grand opera is all about.
It is hardly surprising that Le roi de Lahore should have swept its early audiences off their feet. The work is pure escapism, transporting the listener away to exotic locales on the Indian subcontinent, even—in the central tableau—to the paradise of Indra, which is the cue for celestial beings to dance around to some rather delectable ballet music. It is difficult to see why the opera cannot revive that popularity today, at least on disc. Massenet's score is overflowing with the sensuous melodic material that seems to have come to him so easily in his earlier years. A heady atmosphere, steeped in Gallic eroticism, drenches the orchestral writing, while
the solo voice parts are written to show off the singers to maximum effect.
The cast on this Decca reissue from 1980 is generally a strong one. Dame Joan Sutherland enjoys soaring aloft vocally as Sita: it is possible to admire her impressive high notes, while wishing those further down were a bit firmer. The young Luis Lima makes a hard-working Alim. Sherrill Milnes gives the treacherous Scindia plenty of red corpuscles and Nicolai Ghiaurov is duly noble as the god Indra; James Morris's Timour is majestically sung, but has a suspect American drawl. The orchestra under Richard Bonynge captures the opera's luxuriant beauty to good effect, although this CD transfer benefits from a little taming in the treble. Not to be missed: this is what French grand opera is all about.
-- Richard Fairman, Gramophone [2/1993]
Works on This Recording
Le roi de Lahore by Jules Massenet
Sherrill Milnes (Baritone),
James Morris (Bass Baritone),
Huguette Tourangeau (Mezzo Soprano),
Gareth Morrell (Tenor),
David Wilson-Johnson (Bass),
Nicolai Ghiaurov (Bass),
John Tomlinson (Bass Baritone),
Dame Joan Sutherland (Soprano),
Luis Lima (Tenor)
National Philharmonic Orchestra,
London Opera Chorus
Written: 1877; France
Date of Recording: 1979
Venue: Kingsway Hall, London
Length: 146 Minutes 19 Secs.
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