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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Gounod: Romeo et Juliet

04/14/2013 1:00 pm
04/14/2013 4:30 pm


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:

I get back this Sunday to Sony Classical's current series of broadcast airtapes made live in performance at the Metropolitan Opera. The mono or early stereo sound on these old tape reels from the Met's archives has been digitally remastered for issue in compact disc format. The old tapes captured for posterity what some consider to be the Golden Age of opera singing in the first half of the twentieth century.

Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette (1867) was recorded live on stage on February 1, 1947. Emil Cooper conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The incomparable Swedish tenor Jussi Bjorling is heard as Romeo, opposite Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayao as Juliet, a role in which she specialized. To the delight of audiences, Bjorling and Sayao were frequently paired in Met productions in the 1940's.