Mounting Verdi’s French grand operas in their original language is no longer as unusual as it once was, but this week’s “Trove Thursday” presents that rare phenomenon: a Les Vêpres Siciliennes performed by idiomatic Francophone forces, conducted by Pierre-Michel Le Conte and featuring Jacqueline Brumaire, Henri Delaunay, Matteo Manuguerra and Jacques Mars.  

If one attends Vêpres or Don Carlos or Jérusalem these days, one likely hears an internationalized French style and diction that is far from what one will experience in this 1967 French Radio broadcast which contains a number of cuts.

Brumaire made a specialty of Hélêne and may be familiar from the complete BBC performance of Vêpres released on CD by Opera Rara.

The marvelous Manuguerra was already in his mid-40s at the time of this broadcast, and in several years he would debut at the Met where he performed for more than 20 years—singing his final Rigoletto there at age 68!

“Trove Thursday” will be taking next week off for Thanksgiving returning on December 3rd for a rarity with the great Janet Baker. In the meantime, all podcasts in this series are available for download from iTunes or via any RSS reader.

Verdi: Les Vepres Siciliennes
ORTF French Radio 1967

La Duchesse Helene: Jacqueline Brumaire
Ninetta: Isabelle Andrea
Henri: Maurice Delaunay
Guy de Montfort: Matteo Manuguerra
Jean Procida: Jacques Mars
Danieli: Joseph Peyron
Sire de Bethune: Daniel Marty
Robert: Michel Martin

Conductor: Pierre-Michel Le Conte