Thursday, February 09, 2012

Offenbach: Les contes d'Hoffmann

"Sony Classical and the Metropolitan Opera ... are collaborating on a project to release no-frills, remastered recordings of historic live Saturday afternoon broadcasts from the Met. ... Five of the 20 releases to date feature [Richard] Tucker, and this is good news for the many admirers of this great Brooklyn-born tenor. ... He can be heard in this series as the Duke of Mantua in a 1964 broadcast of Verdi’s 'Rigoletto' ... and in other roles. But the Tucker revelation is a 1955 broadcast of Offenbach’s 'Contes d’Hoffmann,' conducted by Pierre Monteux. The opera, left unfinished by Offenbach, is performed here in the bastardized version cobbled together after his death, which was essentially the only choice at the time. But the singing is magnificent, especially from Tucker, who brings élan, honesty and ringing sound to his portrayal of the love-struck poet" (Anthony Tommasini, "Time Travel at the Met, Thanks to CDs," New York Times, 1/20/12).
View catalog record here!