The operas of Saverio Mercadante are often said to be among those 19th century Italian works most worthy of revival; in case you’ve never heard one, judge for yourself with a 1974 broadcast of his best-known work, Il Giuramento, with Annabelle Bernard, Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras and Robert Kerns.
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.