OP0039. CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, w.Leonie Rysanek, Placido Domingo, Astrid Varnay, Benito di Bella & Ruth Falcon;
PAGLIACCI, w.Placido Domingo, Teresa Stratas, Benito di Bella, Norbert Orth, Wolfgang Brendel, etc. - (both w.Nello Santi Cond. Bayerischen Staatsoper Ensemble) - Live Performance, 25 Dec., 1978. (Germany) 2-Orfeo C 845 1221, w.Elaborate Libretto-Brochure. Final Sealed Copy! - 4011790845227
“ORFEO's live recording documents opening night at the Munich National Theatre on Christmas Day 1978, with Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Leoncavallo's PAGLIACCI, which once again allows listeners to share in the excitement of the occasion. Leonie Rysanek and Placido Domingo truly shine on this recording.”
- BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012
“On the basis of this live recording, the evening clearly belonged to Domingo....As Turiddu his tone is consistently golden...Canio's big solos are beautifully sung... Rysanek is a brooding, dark-toned Santuzza….[Brendel] has precisely the warm tone, soaring top and effortless flow of legato that Silvio requires. Stratas' voice startles the ear with its pungency and immediacy in her role's initial phrases."
- GRAMOPHONE, January 2013
“An exciting CAVALLERIA. This is surely Domingo's more convincing part of the two. Varnay's veteran Lucia is riveting...In PAGLIACCI, Stratas, predictably, is sensational - she IS the drama. Domingo is never less than solidly there vocally but tends to over-sentimentalise.”
- INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, November 2012
"The dramatic soprano Astrid Varnay was born into an operatic family: her mother was a coloratura soprano and her father a spinto tenor. The year in which she was born they founded the Opera Comique Theatre in Kristiania, Sweden, although they were both born in Hungary, and they managed it until 1921.The family then moved to Argentina and later to New York, where her father died in 1924. Her mother subsequently remarried another tenor, and the young Astrid, after studying to be a pianist, decided at the age of eighteen to become a singer. She worked intensively, first with her mother and then with the Metropolitan Opera conductor and coach Hermann Weigert, whom she later married. She made her sensational stage début at the Metropolitan in 1941, substituting at short notice for Lotte Lehmann as Sieglinde in DIE WALKÜRE with no rehearsal. After this triumph, six days later she replaced Helen Traubel in the same opera as Brünnhilde, and her operatic career was effectively launched. She made her Covent Garden début in 1948 and, at the suggestion of Kirsten Flagstad, her Bayreuth Festival début in 1951. She sang every year at Bayreuth for the next seventeen years and at the Met until 1956, when she left following a disagreement with Rudolf Bing. She henceforth concentrated her career on Germany where she was revered, living in Munich. She moved from the dramatic soprano repertoire into that for mezzo-soprano in 1969, and during the 1980s into character parts. She made her last appearance in Munich in 1995, almost fifty-five years after her Metropolitan début. Her brilliant career is well documented in both commercial and unofficial sound recordings."
- David Patmore