Callas Rehearsal in Dallas 1957

An abundance of new(ish) Callas material, the Dallas rehearsal disc the most revealing document

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Alessio Vlad, Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: 5 57389-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Madama Butterfly, Movement: Un bel dì vedremo Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Philharmonia Orchestra
Tullio Serafin, Conductor
Carmen, Movement: Prelude Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Prêtre, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Carmen, Movement: L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Prêtre, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Carmen, Movement: ~ Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Prêtre, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Carmen, Movement: Les voici! Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Prêtre, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Carmen, Movement: Si tu m'aimes, Carmen Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Bizet, Composer
Georges Prêtre, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Gianni Schicchi, Movement: O mio babbino caro Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Philharmonia Orchestra
Tullio Serafin, Conductor
(La) traviata, Movement: Libiamo, ne' lieti calici (Brindisi) Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Carlo Maria Giulini, Conductor
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan La Scala Chorus
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Vissi d'arte Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Victor de Sabata, Conductor
Tosca, Movement: Vedi, le man giunte io stendo a te! Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Victor de Sabata, Conductor
Tosca, Movement: E qual via scegliete? Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Victor de Sabata, Conductor
Norma, Movement: ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Milan La Scala Chorus
Milan La Scala Orchestra
Tullio Serafin, Conductor
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Callas Forever, Movement: Callas Forever Alessio Vlad, Composer
Accademia Musicale Italiana
Alessio Vlad, Composer
Antonio Sechi, Conductor
Callas Forever, Movement: Picnic Alessio Vlad, Composer
Accademia Musicale Italiana
Alessio Vlad, Composer
Antonio Sechi, Conductor
Callas Forever, Movement: Maria and Larry Alessio Vlad, Composer
Accademia Musicale Italiana
Alessio Vlad, Composer
Antonio Sechi, Conductor

Composer or Director: Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Arrigo Boito, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: 567912-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Tosca, Movement: Vissi d'arte Giacomo Puccini, Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
John Pritchard, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
(Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', Movement: ~ Gioachino Rossini, Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Gioachino Rossini, Composer
John Pritchard, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Norma, Movement: ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
John Pritchard, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Madama Butterfly, Movement: Un bel dì vedremo Giacomo Puccini, Composer
(Anonymous) Orchestra
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
John Pritchard, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
(La) Bohème, 'Bohemian Life', Movement: Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Malcolm Sargent, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Mefistofele, Movement: L'altra notte Arrigo Boito, Composer
Arrigo Boito, Composer
Malcolm Sargent, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Macbeth, Movement: ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
London Symphony Orchestra
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
(Il) Pirata, Movement: ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
London Symphony Orchestra
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer

Composer or Director: Giuseppe Verdi, Gustave Charpentier, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Gioachino Rossini, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Gaetano Donizetti

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: 5 67922-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Macbeth, Section: Vieni! t'affretta! Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Oliviero De Fabritiis, Conductor
Rome RAI Orchestra
Macbeth, Section: Or tutti sorgete Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Oliviero De Fabritiis, Conductor
Rome RAI Orchestra
Nabucco, Movement: ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', Movement: ~ Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Oliviero De Fabritiis, Conductor
Rome RAI Orchestra
Lakmé, Movement: ~ (Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Composer
(Clément Philibert) Léo Delibes, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Oliviero De Fabritiis, Conductor
Rome RAI Orchestra
(Die) Entführung aus dem Serail, '(The) Abduction from the Seraglio', Movement: Martern aller Arten Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
San Remo RAI Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Dinorah, '(Le) pardon de Ploërmel', Movement: Ombre légère (Shadow Song) Giacomo Meyerbeer, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Giacomo Meyerbeer, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
San Remo RAI Orchestra
Louise, Movement: Depuis le jour Gustave Charpentier, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Gustave Charpentier, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
San Remo RAI Orchestra
Armida, Movement: D'Amore al dolce impero Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
San Remo RAI Orchestra

Composer or Director: Giuseppe Verdi, Gaetano Donizetti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: 5 67912-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(La) traviata, Movement: ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
(I) Puritani, Movement: ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Anna Bolena, Movement: ~ Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
Macbeth, Section: Nel dì della vittoria Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
Macbeth, Section: Vieni! t'affretta! Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
(Die) Entführung aus dem Serail, '(The) Abduction from the Seraglio', Movement: Martern aller Arten Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Dallas Symphony Chorus
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Maria Callas, Soprano
Nicola Rescigno, Conductor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer

Composer or Director: (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Vincenzo Bellini, Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico) Spontini, Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: 5 67917-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(La) Vestale, Movement: ~ Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico) Spontini, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Gaspare (Luigi Pacifico) Spontini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan RAI Chorus
Milan RAI Orchestra
(I) Puritani, Movement: Ad Arturo onore Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan RAI Chorus
Milan RAI Orchestra
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
(I) Puritani, Movement: A te, o cara Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan RAI Chorus
Milan RAI Orchestra
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Semiramide, Movement: ~ Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan RAI Chorus
Milan RAI Orchestra
Hamlet, Movement: A vos jeux, permettez-moi de grâce (Mad Scene) (Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, Composer
(Charles Louis) Ambroise Thomas, Composer
Alfredo Simonetto, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Milan RAI Chorus
Milan RAI Orchestra
(Il) trovatore, Movement: ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Antonino Votto, Conductor
Athens Festival Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
(La) forza del destino, '(The) force of destiny', Movement: Pace, pace, mio Dio Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Antonino Votto, Conductor
Athens Festival Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Tristan und Isolde, Movement: Mild und leise (Liebestod) Richard Wagner, Composer
Antonino Votto, Conductor
Athens Festival Orchestra
Maria Callas, Soprano
Richard Wagner, Composer
Lucia di Lammermoor, '(The) Bride of Lammermoor', Movement: ~ Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Antonino Votto, Conductor
Athens Festival Orchestra
Gaetano Donizetti, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano

Composer or Director: Giacomo Puccini, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi, Vincenzo Bellini

Genre:

Vocal

Label: EMI Classics

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Mono
ADD

Catalogue Number: 567916-2

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Norma, Movement: ~ Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Vincenzo Bellini, Composer
(Il) trovatore, Movement: ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
(Il) trovatore, Section: Vanne Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
(Il) trovatore, Section: Lasciami Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giuseppe Verdi, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
(Il) Barbiere di Siviglia, '(The) Barber of Seville', Movement: ~ Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Gioachino Rossini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: ~ Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Vissi d'arte Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Ha più forte Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Ed or fra noi parliam da buoni amici Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Orsù, Tosca, parlate Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Movement: Floria! Amore... Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Section: Sei troppo bella Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tosca, Section: Tosca! finalmente mia! Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Albert Lance, Tenor
Georges Sébastian, Conductor
Giacomo Puccini, Composer
Maria Callas, Soprano
Paris National Opera Chorus
Paris National Opera Orchestra
Tito Gobbi, Baritone
Taking the six in order, the first is the first to strike off the list. Its principal attraction, one imagines, will be to people who have a particularly happy memory of the Franco Zeffirelli film (staring Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons) not yet released in the UK.

Little information is given about it: nothing, for instance, to place the excerpts from the soundtrack within the context of its action. The items in which Callas sings include the ‘Brindisi’ from La traviata as performed at La Scala under Giulini in 1955; the others are standard studio recordings better heard in the context of the discs from which they are taken. The three orchestral pieces by Alessio Vlad are sweet-sad nonentities, which may gain a value by association with the film, but for anybody who is as keen on it as all that, it would surely be better to seek out a DVD.

‘Callas Live in London’ should likewise disappear from those lists where good recorded sound is a priority. Conversely, it could find its way to the top of lists kept by romantics, people who feel they might like Callas more if she had been recorded pre-electrically, or better still on a Mapleson cylinder. It isn’t quite as bad (or good) as that, but certainly there is a sense of being a kind of privileged interloper – one who tunes in to the radio from afar, or perhaps is allowed to listen from a secret place high above the stage.

Still, the privilege is real enough. Many brilliant, and some delicate, things are done, and the ‘L’altra notte’ (Sargent conducting) is vintage Callas. So, too, are the arias from a Festival Hall concert in 1959, said by Michael Roubinet in his notes to be probably ‘the first known instance of a recording by an audience member using a battery-powered tape-recorder’. Or piracy legalised.

The Paris disc confines itself to Callas’s début there, somewhat late in her career (1958), a glamorous occasion with all the bigwigs, from the President down, in attendance. Callas’s opening with her great solo from Norma wins a raucous ‘brava’ from a self-appointed cheerleader at the insecure end of ‘Casta diva’ but I imagine that not everybody was inwardly convinced at this stage that they were hearing the world’s greatest singer. It is easier to believe that in the Trovatore, and then, rather remarkably, in ‘Una voce poco fa’ where the spell really works – but, for that, it’s much better to see her, and her smile. And so it is with the performance of Act 2 of Tosca: here the video is much to be recommended in preference to the CD.

With the recordings from Milan and Athens the shopping-list comes into play again. The prayer from La vestale, despite the faint-sounding orchestra, is a fine example of the nobility of style and spirit that were at her command. Both of these concerts included Ophelia’s Mad Scene in Hamlet, sung in Italian and in complete identification with the character. The Milan performance finds her in better vocal health, yet she summons up the stamina in Athens to repeat the second half as an encore at the request of the Greek president.

Most special of all in this series is the Dallas rehearsal disc. Time lost for the listener (who cannot hear the muttered conversations between soloist and conductor) is doubtless gain for the audience: this is a down-to-work session, and, for her part, Callas gives all attention to the job in hand. It’s hard to say for sure, but my feeling is that we get from her here something extra. Work was what she liked, and here she is freed from the nagging consciousness of reputation and judgemental ears. I’ve not made the comparisons, but was strongly persuaded that I’d never heard her sing ‘Ah! Fors’è lui’ so well. Then they work at Anna Bolena and Lady Macbeth, ending with, in Italian, ‘Martern aller Arten’. There are fascinating perspectives of sound, and from time to time some really glorious singing.

The Entführung aria also features in the San Remo concert, which Callas shared with Gigli (no duets, alas). Here, she is in fuller, fresher voice, a voice which she displays to amazing effect in florid arias from Dinorah and Armida. This is perhaps doubly astonishing as we have just heard how she was singing two years earlier in Rome: the Macbeth and Nabucco arias are magnificent indeed, but the cost of such singing must surely have been equally prodigious.

These six discs are, for the most part, not re-issues or a reformatting of others (the one major overlap is with the ‘Live in Concert’ two-CD set of 1997, which included the items from Rome, San Remo and Athens). Personally, I would go for the rehearsal.

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