Culminating the month-long Maria Callas mania over at Rai 3, this Saturday the Italian radio network will broadcast a newly restored version (“il cui audio verrà restaurato per l’occasione”) of the celebrated June 29, 1955 concert of Bellini’s Norma.
Co-starring with La Divina are Mario del Monaco and Ebe Stignani, under the baton of Tullio Serafin. That broadcast should begin at 2:30 PM New York time; everyone else will have to puzzle it out from there.
While this Norma is hardly an “lost performance,” currently available dubs of the broadcast are of frustratingly poor quality. Some are pitched incorrectly; others substitute bits of other performances from Callas commercial recordings or other sources. If this Saturday broadcast indeed presents a complete and cleaned-up version, joy will indeed be unconfined.
Oh, and here’s a direct link to the Rai 3 player. (La Cieca thanks dear Herman Melville for both the tip and the headline.)