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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro
Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:
My broadcasts of Sony Classical's "The Mertopolitan Opera" series continues into the Summer months with Mozart's immortal opera buffa, perhaps the single finest example of this comic operatic subgenre.
The Marriage of Figaro was captured on tape for posterity as it was performed live on stage at the Met, January 28, 1961. This was actually the aircheck tape of a radio broadcast. The Met's archives preserve reel-to-reel airtapes going back more than half a century into the twentieth century, a period that some consider to be the Golden Age of opera singing. Consider this lineup of legendary Met singing stars: baritone Cesare Siepi as Figaro, soprano Roberta Peters as his betrothed Susanna, bass Kim Borg as the philandering Count Almaviva, mezzo Lucine Amara as his long-suffering wife the Countess. The cast is filled out with the likes of Regina Resnik and Ezio Flagello, also legendary names in opera history. Erich Leinsdorf conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Sony digitally upgraded the early stereo sonics of these airtapes of the Met's Marriage of Figaro for release in 2011 on three compact discs.