Previously Trove Thursday offered Massenet’s version of the history of Manon and Des Grieux with Beverly Sills and Alain Vanzo.

Then in January came Mariella Devia in Auber’s Manon Lescaut, the earliest operatic setting of the Prévost novel.

Although my first Radvanovsky encounter at the Met was Gutrune in Götterdämmerung in 2000, it was quickly followed by Musetta later that same year opposite Cristina Gallardo-Domas and Marcello Giordani. Those performances proved to be her only run of La Bohème there and Musetta her one Puccini role at the house until she took on Tosca in 2011. I was present at her first Met Floria, an occasion made even more memorable by the last-minute substitution for Marcelo Alvarez by Roberto Alagna.

While there have been two further runs of Tosca, it and Musetta have so far been Radvanovsky’s sole Puccini roles at the Met. Today’s Los Angeles Opera Suor Angelica has been her only encounter with that panel of Il Trittico, and I believe the Leipzig Manon Lescaut appeared to be a one-off until she returned to the opera at Covent Garden in late 2016, again with Antonenko.

This season the diva surprised some by going back to Dvorak’s Rusalka which she had not performed since 2005 in Bilbao and then taking on Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama in Chicago. While Lady Macbeth and Cherubini’s Médée (supposedly in Italian) are on the horizon, many fans have long hungered for more Radvanovsky Puccini: both Minnie in La Fanciulla de West and, of course, Turandot.

While glancing at the Met archive I noticed that the fall of 2021 will be the 25th anniversary of Radvanovsky’s Met debut, at which she may have been the most stentorian Countess Ceprano in the house’s long Rigoletto history!

Puccini: Manon Lescaut

Oper Leipzig

16 May 16 2008
In-house recording

Manon Lescaut: Sondra Radvanovsky
Un Musico: Gabriela Scherer
Des Grieux: Aleksandrs Antonenko
Lescaut: Teddy Tahu Rhodes
Geronte: James Moellenhoff
Edmondo: Emanuele Giannino


Conductor: Riccardo Chailly

Puccini: Suor Angelica

Los Angeles Opera

16 September 2008


Sister Angelica: Sondra Radvanovsky
The Princess: Larissa Diadkova
The Abbess: Ronnita Nicole Miller
The Monitress: Tichina Vaughn
The Mistress of the Novices: Catherine Keen
Sister Genovieffa: Jennifer Black
Sister Osmina: Angel Blue

Conductor — James Conlon

Both Manon Lescaut and Suor Angelica can be downloaded by clicking on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward on the audio players above and the resulting mp3 files will appear in your download directory.

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The archive listing all Trove Thursday offerings in alphabetical order by composer has been recently updated.