Carmen - de los Angeles (CD)
Price: $40.00 Members: $36.00
The British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was renowned for his interpretations of French repertoire. This Carmen was recorded in France with a Spanish singer – Victoria de los Angeles – as Bizet’s gypsy; she exudes both charm and seduction.
These are the first five releases in a new line of premium releases of classic operatic recordings.
Each of these releases offers optimum sound quality. The four releases originally recorded using analogue techniques (Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Tosca) have all been newly remastered in 24-bit/96kHz at Abbey Road Studios using the latest technology, while La traviata benefits from its stunning original digital recording.
In addition to the CDs, each of these releases includes a hardback, cloth-bound book of between 156 and 260 pages. This book contains: - the complete libretto (with translations) – a component now increasingly rare in opera sets; - an essay by the journalist and opera expert George Hall; - an impressive array of photographic material, with numerous pictures of the artists at the time the recording was made.
The CDs and book are contained in a glossy dustjacket featuring the original cover artwork for the release.
As George Hall writes of the series: “Although many other recordings of the same works exist, in each instance special factors are generally agreed to have given every one of these sets particular qualities that have continued to attract the highest critical praise, as well as the ongoing affection of generations of opera lovers. Having stood the test of time, the results can now be enjoyed by today’s listeners in their optimum sonic manifestations.”
Georges Bizet’s Carmen, which takes place in and around Seville, Spain tells of the downfall of a soldier, Don José, seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy, Carmen. José abandons his sweetheart and his military duties for Carmen, yet loses her love to the glamorous matador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage.
Among the best-known of all operatic arias are Carmen’s “Habanera” from Act 1, sung by the title character and the toreador’s song, “Votre toast” in Act 2, performed by the matador Escamillo.
On January 9, 1884, Carmen was given its first Metropolitan Opera performance. Thereafter it was quickly incorporated into the Met's regular repertory. By the beginning of its 2018/2019 season the Met had performed Carmen well-over a thousand times.
Though the March 3rd,1875 world premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris was a scandal, Carmen, soon became a triumphal success and has remained one of the most frequently staged operas in the world. Three months after its 33rd performance, Bizet died suddenly at the age of 37 never knowing how immensely popular Carmen would become.
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