Trove Thursday began on September 10, 2015, so today we celebrate the podcast’s fifth birthday with a diva-starry Aïda double-bill: Galina Vishnevskaya vies for her soldier-hero with Irina Arkhipova, then Jessye Norman wins the guy (but loses her life) in spite of Mignon Dunn.
As Phaedra’s tragic, all-consuming passion for her stepson Hippolytus has fascinated artists for centuries, Trove Thursday offers two of its lesser-known musical settings: Pizzetti’s opera Fedra with Régine Crespin and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson performing the cantata Phaedra, Britten’s final vocal work.
Dame Janet Baker turns 87 tomorrow and Trove Thursday celebrates with Handel’s rare Admeto conducted by the great Sir Anthony Lewis in which Baker’s bold Alceste vies with Sheila Armstrong’s sparkling Antigona for her deluded husband Admeto’s affections.
Trove Thursday uncovered two broadcasts of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia that share a fascinating nexus: in each an enduring superstar tenor—José Carreras/Alfredo Kraus—is poisoned by a soon-to-vanish rising-star soprano—Vasso Papantoniou/Margarita Castro-Alberty.
Ordinarily we’d be listening to Bayreuth Festival broadcasts this week but instead Trove Thursday steps up with a true Wagner rarity: Die Feen from the Wiener Staatsoper starring as Ada, the fairy in love with a mortal, Gundula Janowitz, who turns 83 on Sunday.
Sonya Yoncheva’s first-ever Princess Romazov was one of this summer’s casualties but Trove Thursday steps up with a rare 1960 in-house pirate of Giordano’s Fedora starring Renata Tebaldi, Giuseppe di Stefano and Tito Gobbi along with a pair of Tebaldi-di Stefano Puccini highlights from the early 1950s.
Trove Thursday relishes neglected works, operas in translation and irreplaceable divas, and this week it presents a pair that embody all three affections: Cherubini’s Les Abencérages and Weber’s Oberon in Italian with the glorious Anita Cerquetti, conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini and Vittorio Gui respectively.
With the Fourth of July approaching, Trove Thursday turns to a quintessentially American opera with the broadcast of the world premiere—some 60 years after its composition—of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha with Alpha Floyd, Seth McCoy and Simon Estes conducted by Robert Shaw.