Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Met Live CD) – Joan Sutherland

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Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Met Live CD) – Joan Sutherland

Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
Artists: Joan Sutherland, Richard Tucker, Anselmo Colzani, Nicola Ghiuselev, Robert Nagy, Lilian Sukis, Dan Marek, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus
Conductor: Richard Bonynge
Label: The Metropolitan Opera
CD Release Date: December 13, 2021

The world discovered Joan Sutherland’s greatness in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor, so it is no surprise that the Australian soprano made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Lucia on November 26, 1961, opposite tenor Richard Tucker as Edgardo. That night, after she ended Lucia’s mad scene with a “perfectly placed…full, strong, and directly on pitch” high E-flat, Sutherland “took ten curtain calls, and from the sixth she received a spontaneous standing ovation,” Harold C. Schonberg wrote in the New York Times, adding, “Old-timers in the press room at the Metropolitan Opera could not remember an equivalent reception.”

Sutherland in Lucia would be an important draw in the Met’s first season at Lincoln Center, and the opera had its first performance there with her on December 12, 1966. The diva’s husband, Richard Bonynge, made his debut as conductor. The triumph of Sutherland’s return as Lucia cannot be overstated. She was at the height of her powers in 1966. The accuracy, brilliance, and quicksilver of her coloratura were only enhanced by her voice’s dramatic size and presence – the kind of artistry that is made for a big theater like the Met, where she was a superstar until her farewell concert performance in 1989. 

Broadcast and recorded on December 31, 1966.



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