Callas first sang at Milan’s legendary La Scala for the opening of the 1951–1952 season (in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani) and she became closely identified with the theatre, notably in productions directed by Luchino Visconti and his protégé Franco Zeffirelli. Spontini’s La vestale was staged for her there in 1954, Bellini’s La sonnambula in 1955, and her final La Scala performances came in 1962 with Cherubini’s Medea. ‘This wonderful record gives us … Callas at her most spell-binding and enthralling,’ wrote Gramophone. ‘Callas at La Scala … shows the diva at her most exciting and most beautiful.’
This unique 70CD box set includes all the studio recordings Maria Callas ever made. It contains 26 complete operas, four of which are studio repeats, plus the complete studio recitals made during her recording career, from 1949 to 1969.
It's pretty simple-this boxed set contains EVERYTHING La Divina recorded in the studio, including newly-licensed and newly-remastered material! That's the first 69 CDs; the 70th CD is a CD-ROM containing the tracklists and photos. And the set comes inside a hardcover slipcase containing a color booklet packed with even more photos of this most photogenic of opera singers. As for the contents, well, again, it's EVERYTHING she did in the studio.
This is a most unusual 'Parsifal,' a live Rome performance, abridged and sung in Italian, originally broadcast in September of 1950. As dark a horse as it may appear to be, several factors make it compelling listening. One is the leadership of Vittorio Gui, an excellent opera conductor now best remembered for several fine Mozart recordings he made for EMI. While the music does seem to have a somewhat Latinate thrust, it works on its own terms, reminding one that despite the aura of spirituality and philosophy that hangs over the proceedings, this is still drama. Then there is the matter of the singers, with the great Russian bass Boris Christoff, firm and profound as Gurnemanz and soprano Maria Callas, here in her early prime, strong, sharp Read more and electrifying, as Kundry, each adding their spectacular (though not typically "Wagnerian") gifts to the mix. It's quite a stew.