As Trove Thursday had previously featured a broadcast of the notable Kaye/Keck edition of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, I was inspired by his 1987 book The Unknown Puccini to bring together recordings of Edgar and the Messa di Gloria, as well as an early concert performance of the full Alfano completion of Turandot.
According to Disqus, QPF’s contribution primarily or solely to parterre box ran to nearly 10,000 posts. When the TT of the Hoffmann appeared five years ago, he predictably found fault with it, though without revealing his connection. Although the Kaye/Keck critical edition remains unpublished, The Real Tales of Hoffmann: Origin, History, and Restoration of an Operatic Masterpiece, co-authored with Vincent Giroud, was put out by Rowson and Littlefield six years ago.
The front cover of Erato’s recording of Hoffmann starring Roberto Alagna and conducted by Kent Nagano proudly proclaimed that it featured the Michael Kaye (without Keck) edition.
Although I’ve not listened to either, I understand two Placido Domingo CDs were inspired by Kaye’s Puccini book: The Unknown Puccini accompanied by Julius Rudel on piano/organ and Puccini Rediscovered conducted by Alberto Veronesi and featuring Violeta Urmana.
I’m unsure about the years during which Kaye served on the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff, I can imagine his chagrin when Richard Bonynge brought his own version of Hoffmann to the Met in 1973. A video was (secretly?) made of that production starring Domingo, Joan Sutherland, Huguette Tourangeau and Thomas Stewart. The complete opera used to be available, but I can now only find bits which might be interesting to those who haven’t seen them, particularly if they are familiar with Kaye’s ideas about the Offenbach work.
The final clip features Bonynge’s controversial conversion of the “Giulietta” septet into a quartet placed into the “Stella” epilogue.
Fidelia: Angela Meade
Tigrana: Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Edgar: Bryan Hymel
Frank: Marco Vratogna
Gualtiero: Kihwan Sim
Conductor: Marc Soustrot
16 February 2014
Puccini: Turandot (complete Alfano ending)
Turandot: Linda Kelm
Liù: Janet Price
Calàf: Nicola Martinucci
Timur: Ivo Ingram
Ping: John Rawnsley
Pang: Wouter Goedhart
Pong: Ad van Baasbank
L’imperatore Altoum: Simon van der Geest
Un mandarino: Maarten Flipse
Jongens van de kathedrale koorschool St. Bavo
Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
Conductor: Henry Lewis
12 November 1983
Puccini: Messa di Gloria
Vienna Boys Choir
Conductor: Uwe Christian Harrer
12 May 1981
The three Puccini works can downloaded by clicking on the icon of a cloud with an arrow pointing downward on the audio player above and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.