Great Moments in Opera from The Ed Sullivan Show
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(Nov 28, 2000)
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The most remarkable thing about this extraordinary collection is how well it lives up to its ambitious title. It is, in fact, full of great moments, and even when it falls short of greatness (for example, in Birgit Nilsson's note-perfect but too tranquil "Pace, pace" from La forza del destino), the standard is high. A list of the participants' names is almost a who's who of the international opera elite in the 1950s and '60s--or, more specifically, of those who were singing at the Metropolitan Opera and thereby available in New York for Ed Sullivan's "Show of Shows." Intellectuals tended to look down on this show, but it did book the best talent available and it let them do what they did best--essentially, the most familiar highlights from the standard repertoire.
In the (unspecified) years that supplied these performances, the show's style changed: color replaced black and white; scenery and costumes gave way to formal evening wear and concert interpretations (though Richard Tucker was allowed to keep a clown suit and makeup mirror for his intense "Vesti la giubba"). On one occasion, Franco Corelli wore a business suit--but he was singing a Neapolitan song, not an aria. Highlights are too numerous to be detailed, but they include a very young Leontyne Price singing "Vissi d'arte," Joan Sutherland in music from Lucia and Daughter of the Regiment (the only number that includes a chorus), and Eileen Farrell's strange "Pace, pace," staged in a Greco-Roman amphitheatre with only a piano accompaniment.
This two-hour collection will be specially treasured for its inclusion of many singers inadequately represented in the video media--e.g., Lily Pons, Maria Callas, Nilsson, Farrell, Tucker, Jan Peerce, Dorothy Kirsten, and Robert Merrill. --Joe McLellan
From the Back Cover
Many of the great names in the history of opera have appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" performing the arias that made them famous. Now available is the complete collection of these historic performances by opera legends including Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, BEverly Sills, Robert Merrill, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi, Birgit Nilsson, Leontyne Price, Richard Tucker, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters, Lily Pons, Jan Peerce, Marilyn Horne, Dorothy Kirsten and Eileen Farrell. 120 Mins.
Leontyne Price - "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca
Roberta Peters - "Una voce poca fa" - from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Robert Merrill - "Largo al fatotum" - from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Beverly Sills - "O luce di quest' anima" - from Linda Di Chamounix
Anna Moffo - "Il regimento" - from La Forza del Destino
Richard Tucker - "Vesti le guiba" from I Pagliacci
Birgit Nilsson - "Pace, pace, mio Dio" from La Forza del Destino
Jan Peerce & Robert Merrill - duet from La Forza del Destino
Maria Callas - "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca
Joan Sutherland & Marilyn Horne - "Mira, O Norma" from Norma
Peters & Merrill - "Parigi" "Morir se giovane" from La Traviata
Joan Sutherland - "Sempre libera" - from La Traviata
Lily Pons - "Gavotte" from Mignon
Dorothy Kirsten - "Un bel di" from Madama Butterfly
Renata Tebaldi & Franco Corelli - "Vicino a le" - from Andrea Chenier
Eileen Farrell - "Un bel di" - from Madama Butterfly
Dorothy Kirsten & Franco Corelli - "Suave fanciulla" - from La Boheme
Joan Sutherland - "Quando rapita" - from Lucia di Lammermor
Eileen Farrell - "Pace, pace, mio Dio" from La Forza del Destino
Roberta Peters - "Waltz" - from Romeo & Juliet
Joan Sutherland - "Saluta la France" - from La Fille du Regiment
Anna Moffo - "La Ballatella" from I Pagliacci
Franco Corelli - "Tu Lo Sai - Italian Song
Birgit Nilsson - "Vissi d'arte" - from Tosca
Roberta Peters - "The Bell Song" - from Lakme
Robert Merrill - Selections from Adia, La Traviata and Carmen
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Top customer reviews
I don't care for the cutesy dissolves and the lack of composer's credits. But I won't take away a half-star. Not even for the conspicuous absence of "Un a furtive lagrima"! (It *had* to have been done at Sullivan's place!).
We have all the classics by the classics. But...where's Ed? He had fans, too!
1) They don't make them like this anymore!
2) Price, Sills, Sutherland, Moffo, Farrell, Callas, Nilsson...Oh My!'
3) Corelli, Merrill, Tucker, Peerce ...Wow!
4) Lest I forget Tebaldi, Pons, Kirsten, Peters, Horne ALL IN THEIR PRIME singing some of their greatest arias, most in color a few in B&W. Good to very good sound. All seen on our TV sets on Sunday Evening ... FREE!!!
5) TWO GLORIOUS HOURS!!!
6) Don't miss this oportunity to hear and see some of the greatest opera artists we ever had. Also, there is more in the vaults and other great DVDs from this iconoclastic showman: Ed Sullivan. I wish I could dub in BYE BYE BIRDIE's "Hymn For A Sunday Evening." "Ed Sullivan... we're going to be on Ed Sullivan... I love you Ed."
7) One really must hear Robert Merrill's "Largo al fatotum." Rossini must be rolling on the golden streets of heaven in Hysterical Laughter over the new broadway show biz orchestration. A REAL HOOT!!! Where did they find this? AND IS THIS A NEW HISTORICALLY INFORMED JUST DISCOVERED EDITION!!!
8) I got it used on Amazon and it was worth every penny!
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