Notes and Editorial Reviews
Marking the 40th anniversary of Maria Callas’ death (16th September 1977), Maria Callas Live captures the legendary soprano in action on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. Thanks to new audio remastering from the best available sources, this 45-disc set reveals Callas’ compelling genius as a singing actress with a new truthfulness and immediacy. Containing 20 complete operas – including 12 works she never recorded in the studio – and five complete filmed recitals (with two different stagings of Act 2 of Tosca) on Blu-ray, Maria Callas Live is the indispensable complement to Callas Remastered, Warner Classics’ landmark collection of her studio recordings.
This luxury box set comprises 42 CDs (20 complete operas) and 3 Blu-ray discs (5 recitals). Twelve of the operas were never recorded by Callas in the studio: Verdi (Nabucco, I vespri siciliani, & Macbeth), Wagner (Parsifal), Donizetti (Anna Bolena, Poliuto), Rossini (Armida) Bellini (Il pirata), Gluck (Alceste, Ifigenia in Tauride), Spontini (La vestale), and Giordano (Andrea Chénier). Apart from that, we are also able to witness the historic performance of Verdi’s Aida in Mexico City, where she interpolated a high E flat at the end of the Triumphal Scene, exciting the audience to ecstatic applause; La traviata (Lisbon 1958), conducted by Franco Ghione with Alfredo Kraus; her only incarnation on stage of Gilda in Rigoletto; Bellini’s Norma, at the height of her vocal powers in London; Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in the legendary performance with Karajan at the Städtische Oper Berlin; Cherubini’s Medea, and Bellini’s La sonnambula under Leonard Bernstein at La Scala, and the heartbreaking Puccini Tosca from Covent Garden, 1964.