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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Massenet: Don Quichotte

08/19/2012 1:00 pm
08/19/2012 4:30 pm


Host Keith Brown writes: 

This would otherwise be the Sunday reserved for a sentimental operetta by Lehar, but I have something more comic, indeed satiric in nature to delight you listeners, with its own special tearjerking element as well.

Massenet wrote the title role of his next-to-last opera Don Quichotte (1910) expressly for the distinguished Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, who considered his characterization of Cervantes' immortal knight errant second only to that of Czar Boris Godunov in Mussorgski's opera of that name. Nicolai Ghiaurov, the distinguished basso from Bulgaria, was recorded in the comic role in 1979 for Decca/London. You heard the London CD reissue of Don Quichotte on Sunday, September 24, 1995.

Listen today to the Italian basso Feruccio Furlanetto's take on the Don as recorded in May, 2011 in the Concert Hall of the famed Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Valery Gergiev directs the Mariinsky orchestra. The Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers served as the chorus. The rest of the cast is composed of Russian vocalists. This St. Petersburg Don Quichotte was issued to the public on two compact discs through the Mariinsky's own label. Sung in French.