Die Zauberflöte may be the most popular opera which I haven’t yet posted with respect to my goal of offering the most-performed works around the world. This week’s feature is a classic Salzburger Festspiele performance from 1959 with the all-star cast of Leopold Simoneau, Lisa Della Casa, Kurt Böhme, Erika Köth, Walter Berry, Hans Hotter, Graziella Sciutti and Karl Dönch conducted by George Szell.
While most of them centered their careers in Europe, all but one managed at least a few performances at the Met. Della Casa leads with about 175 performances, followed by Szell and Berry with just under 100 performances each. Simoneau sang only five performance as Don Ottavio and Sciutti, in her post-soubrette era, debuted as a stage director for a revival of Così fan tutte. Dönch had a stronghold on Beckmessser for a few seasons. Hotter and Böhme demonstrated their artistry in Wagner and Strauss roles. Köth is the only one to not have the Met on her résumé.