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kiss my assyrian

La Cieca is proud to “hostess” a classic performance of Semiramide as performed at La Scala on 17 December 1962. Heading the starry cast are Joan Sutherland (Semiramide), Giulietta Simionato (Arsace), Wladimiro Ganzarolli (Assur) and Gianni Raimondi (Idreno). You can listen to the first act on the Unnatural Acts of Opera page.

3 comments

  • 1
    Hans Lick says:

    Finalmente! A Semiramide with a Semiramide! AND an Arsace!

    Was just up in Boston for the Titian, Tintoretto & Veronese Show, then ambled the capacious galleries of the MFA (hadn’t been there in, what? 20 years?) and came upon a Guercino of Semiramis, cutting her hair when receiving the news of the revolt of Babylon. Story goes she put down the scissors and refused to complete her toilette till she had ridden to the rebellious town and CRUSHED the revolt. Then she cut her hair. And did her nails. And just a few plinks of the eyebrows.

    A story I didn’t know. But then, no one seems to know any of the stories of Semiramis any more. A crying shame.

    Thanks for the perf, La C!

  • 2
    javier says:

    There are too many cuts in this version so I could only listen to part of it. Why do some people think the 1962 perofrmance at La Scala was Sutherland’s best Semiramide? I have her Decca studio recording and the 1968 live recording released by Opera D’Oro and they are far superior to this. Sutherland never sang Semiramide without cuts, but the amount of cuts within the first half-hour of the first act are simply apalling.

  • 3
    Hans Lick says:

    And kudos to you, La C (or was it Milton?) for the new theme music, the invariably omitted Act III ballet music from Otello, which music was Verdi’s last composition for the theater. I’ve always enjoyed its exquisitely spurious Greco-Turkisms, wish Balanchine had done something witty with it.