Puccini

Happy Australia Day with Pavarotti!

Today is Australia Day, the official National Day of Australia, which is celebrated annually on 26 January in Australia and by Australians living abroad.

Pavarotti performed in Australia many times during his career, but there is another important Australian connection for Pavarotti. The Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland was together with her conductor husband Richard Bonynge instrumental for Pavarotti’s career on stage and on record, especially in the early stages of his career. Pavarotti and Sutherland made many landmark recordings on Decca together, as well as performing in operas and concerts together.

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In the following video Pavarotti and Sutherland sing the duet “Prendi: l’anel ti dono” from the Bellini opera La Sonnambula from a concert in 1983 in Sydney, Australia with Bonynge conducting. This concert is available on CD and DVD.

The Three Tenors performed in Australia once. On 1 March 1997 The Three Tenors performed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne as part of their World Tour together with conductor Marco Armiliato. At this concert The Three Tenors surprised their audience by singing the popular Australian song “Waltzing Matilda“, by many described as the country’s “unofficial national anthem”.

Pavarotti held solo concerts in Australia as well. More on that in another post. Let’s end these Australia Day celebrations with a clip of Pavarotti singing “Nessun dorma!” from The Three Tenors concert mentioned above. Clearly Pavarotti conquered Australia too! 🙂

Happy Australia Day everybody, especially my Australian followers! 🙂

This blog post no. 303 was first published 26-01-2016. Last revision 26-01-2016.

Karajan: The Opera Recordings

Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) is one of the most legendary conductors of all time. His legacy is well-preserved on record as he made many recordings thru his career.

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This year Deutsche Grammophon released a 70 CDs box set with the complete opera recordings by Karajan on Deutsche Grammophon and Decca entitled Karajan: The Opera Recordings.

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This box set features two opera recordings with Pavarotti:

  • Puccini: La Bohème with the Berliner Philharmoniker (recorded in 1972)
  • Puccini: Madama Butterfly with the Wiener Philharmoniker (recorded in 1974)

Both recordings are available separately on Decca CD, download and streaming.

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If you want to own a collection of great opera recordings then this lavish box set might be just what you need. See details in the video and the illustration below.

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This post was first published 29-12-2015. Last revision 29-12-2015.

Domingo: The 50 Greatest Tracks

The Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo is still active as a singer and conductor. It’s amazing how active he still is considering his high age. Needless to say Domingo was one of The Three Tenors together with Pavarotti and Carreras.

To celebrate his 75th birthday on 21 January, 2016, a 2 CDs compilation entitled Domingo: The 50 Greatest Tracks has just been released on Deutsche Grammophon. This compilation is also available on download and streaming.

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It’s interesting that the album artwork is the same as the Pavarotti compilation Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks from 2013.

This compilation contains a very good sample of the great Spanish tenor’s recordings on Deutsche Grammophon and Decca.

The Three Tenors are featured with “Nessun dorma!” from the first Three Tenors concert in Rome in 1990. Two arias by Domingo from the same concert is also featured on this compilation.

This post was first published 29-12-2015. Last revision 29-12-2015.

Pavarotti and football (8): 25 years since the first Three Tenors concert

The 25th anniversary for the very first Three Tenors concert is on July 7, 2015. Can you believe it? It’s 25 years since the very first Three Tenors concert in Rome, July 7, 1990 (!!!).

And what a great concert it was! The match of the three operatic giants, the tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, was a match made for the opera history books. Read more about the historic concert here.

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To mark the 25th anniversary Decca has just issued a special 25th anniversary edition of the concert containing the complete concert on CD and DVD. Included on the DVD is also a documentary about the concert entitled “The Impossible Dream” which contains behind-the-scenes footage, rehearsals and interviews.

In order to mark this historic concert Decca has also just reissued the concert on LP (!!!). The arrival of this very special 25h anniversary LP edition will bring back this concert to vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1990!

It’s time to revisit this historic concert one more time! Let The Three Tenors sing! 🙂

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This post was first published 06-07-2015. Last revised 06-07-2015.

Pavarotti and Freni in rehersal for the centennial La Bohème in 1996

In 1996 Italy and the world celebrated the centennial for the première of the wonderful Puccini opera La Bohème. The world première performance was on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Torino (Turin).

Pavarotti and Mirella Freni sang in a special centennial performance of the opera exactly 100 years later in the same Teatro Regio in Torino. The event was broadcast on Italian TV. It can seen on YouTube and can be obtained on very unofficial DVD editions.

Here are two clips from the rehearsal for this historic performance.

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This post was first published 07-06-2015. Last revised 07-06-2015.

Pavarotti arias A-Z: T for “Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde”

My series of posts with Pavarotti arias A-Z continues. Very soon this fantastic journey is over, so let’s go!

Today is the letter T for “Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde” which is a wonderful little aria from the Puccini opera Manon Lescaut.

This recording is taken from a live concert performance in London’s Hyde Park on 30th July 1991. The whole concert is available on Decca DVD.

Guess what! Look out for a new aria tomorrow!

This post was first published 09-05-2015. Last revised 09-05-2015.

Pavarotti arias A-Z: R for “Recondita armonia”

My series of posts with Pavarotti arias A-Z continues. Let’s go!

Today is the letter R for “Recondita armonia” which is a wonderful aria from the Puccini opera Tosca.

Listen to performance from Italian TV. I guess it’s from the 1980’s.

Guess what! Look out for a new aria tomorrow!

This post was first published 07-05-2015. Last revised 07-05-2015.