In 1994, the same Metropolitan Opera put two contrasting pieces of the verismo puzzle side by side—the belated verismo of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and the classic verismo of Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, which had reached the stage some twenty-six years earlier.
Those who know Zeffirelli's style won't be surprised by the conventionally lavish production, but it effectively evokes the atmosphere of religious oppression and personal antagonisms Verdi so unerringly depicts. The dark-hued, threatening setting fits Muti's energetic, rhythmically vital conception. He quickens the emotions in a peculiarly Italianate way, and throughout evinces a feeling for the colouring of the score. His reading is in turn a good background for some thoughtful and idiomatic singing.
For millions of people all over the world Luciano Pavarotti literally was Classical music. This outstanding collection of popular oprera arias and duets, sacred songs, and Neapolitan favourites is drawn from the finest recordings Luciano Pavarotti made during an unparalleled career, and presents the definitive profile of one of the most important voices of all time. From 'La Donna E Mobile', 'O Sole Mio' and 'Torna a Sorriento' to Christmas classics 'O Holy Night' and 'Panis Angelicus', including, of course, his celebrated 'Nessun Dorma'. Bonus duets with Andrea Bocelli ('Notte e piscatore'), Cecilia Bartoli ('Cherry Duet') and Frank Sinatra ('My Way') included.
Recorded in 1967, the recording features Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti at the high-noon of their careers! Pavarotti, with great charm and humor, tosses off endless high notes in a barnstorming performance. Sutherland easily tackles the great vocal demands and gives an effortlessly stunning performance. No other recording of this opera has come close to surpassing this classic for vocal beauty and sheer thrills!
For me, this recording represents the absolute epitome of bel canto singing, with Pavarotti spinning endless golden tone as Fernand and Fiorenza Cossotto showcasing that indomitable chest-voice as Leonora.–Katherine Cooper
The Pavarotti and Friends Collection celebrates the internationally renowned charity concert series that brought together the world's greatest pop performers with the greatest international classical star, Luciano Pavarotti.
It would be hard to imagine a better performance of Donizetti's comic masterpiece. If there was one role that ideally suited Luciano Pavarotti's voice and stage personality, it was Nemorino, the impoverished and not-very-bright peasant who worships the village's prettiest and richest young woman from a distance, is swindled by a traveling vendor of "miracle" medicines, but wins her hand by dumb luck. The story has comedy, pathos, and a put-down of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (or at least the Tristan story) written long before Wagner composed it.