This week “Trove Thursday” brings a rare in-house recording of a visit to the Metropolitan Opera House by the Staatsoper Hamburg presenting Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with a deluxe cast—Arlene Saunders, Tatiana Troyanos, Loren Driscoll, Tom Krause and Hans Sotin—conducted by Charles Mackerras.
In addition to the Rake, Hamburg, headed at that time by Rolf Liebermann, presented to New York audiences that summer such crowd-pleasers as Gunther Schuller’s The Visitation, Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, Klebe’s Jacobowsky und der Oberst, Janácek’s Jenufa and Berg’s Lulu starring Anneliese Rothenberger.
At the time American singers were a strong presence in many German companies; besides our Rake trio, Felicia Weathers and Richard Cassilly were also prominently featured during the Hamburg visit.
By 1967 Driscoll was already a noted Tom Rakewell having done it ten years earlier at the Santa Fe Opera in the production that commenced Stravinsky’s celebrated association with that house. Driscoll sang a lot of other contemporary music, appearing in the world premieres of Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights and Henze’s Der Junge Lord, as well as performing Freddy during the original run of My Fair Lady on Broadway. The tenor had made his official Met debut the year before this Hamburg performance as David in Die Meistersinger, a role he would sing 22 times there.
Saunders and Troyanos however would have to wait nine more years before appearing again at the Met, making their debuts a month apart in 1976. Of course, Troyanos would go on to become a great favorite there singing nearly 300 performances over 17 years. Saunders, on the other hand, would sing just one role at the Met—three performances of Eva in Meistersinger, a role she also did in 1971 at the San Francisco Opera where she had earlier appeared as Louise, Marguerite and Freia in 1967, the same year as this Anne Trulove. Earlier in her career she performed at the New York City Opera and returned there occasionally in the 1970s, most notably as Ginastera’s Beatrix Cenci and in La Fanciulla del West.
A career highlight was appearing as Natasha in the 1974 US stage premiere of Prokofiev’s War and Peace with Sarah Caldwell and the Opera Company of Boston. She reunited with Mackerras, her Rake maestro, in 1980 in Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae for a BBC broadcast.
But throughout her performing career her home theater remained Hamburg where she made a number of opera films, including Menotti’s Help! Help! The Globolinks! (with the rest of the world premiere cast), Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Freischütz, and Meistersinger opposite Cassilly and Giorgio Tozzi.
She’s also known for her Elsa there opposite Placido Domingo’s very first Lohengrin in a widely-distributed recording of a live 1968 performance.
Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress
Hamburg Opera at the MET
Metropolitan Opera House
29 June 1967
Anne Truelove: Arlene Saunders
Baba the Turk: Tatiana Troyanos
Mother Goose: Edith Lang
Tom Rakewell: Loren Driscoll
Nick Shadow: Tom Krause
Trulove: Hans Sotin
Sellem: Erwin Wohlfahrt
Madhouse Keepe: Carl Schultz
Conductor: Charles Mackerras
Thanks to a tech-tweak by LaCieca, anyone can now download “Trove Thursday” offerings from Torvaldo e Dorliska onward via the audio-player on its page. Just click on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward and the resulting mp3 will appear in your download directory. In addition, The Rake’s Progress, last week’s Garanca/Kaufmann/Komsi trio and all previous “Trove Thursday” fare remain available from iTunes or via any RSS reader.