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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Thomas: Mignon

09/09/2012 1:00 pm
09/09/2012 4:30 pm

Host Keith Brown writes:

Straight through to the end of the year I will be frequently featuring releases our station has acquired in "The Metropolitan Opera" series from Sony Classical. Over the past couple of years Sony has brought forth these historic recordings from the Met's archives. These are airtapes of live radio broadcasts of performances given in New York City's famous opera house. (Long ago our station actually carried those live Saturday afternoon feeds from the Met. ) Sony has digitally upgraded the sound for presentation in compact disc format.

This Sunday I'm offering up from the Met series Ambroise Thomas' Mignon (1866), starring the Met's own reigning resident soprano, Rise Stevens, in the title role. Her astounding voice was captured for the ages while singing onstage during the Met's Saturday broadcast of January 27, 1945. Also heard in this broadcast as the elderly minstrel Lothario is the now legendary bass, Ezio Pinza, another Met regular in that bygone golden age.

Conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus is Wilfred Pelletier, who as a music educator had a connection to the founding of the Julius Hartt School of Music here at the University of Hartford. Mignon is sung in French, which was Pelletier's native language. (He came originally  from Montreal in French Canada.)