a CD GIVEAWAY that harks back to the days when the MET blazed its
path to glory in the modern era - under the courtly AND charismatic
leadership of Sir Rudolf Bing, the company's General Manager for 22
invariably newsworthy seasons (1950-1972).
Originally issued as an LP, this first international release
on CD of highlights from the gala tribute - held on the final night
of Sir Rudolf's reign (April 22, 1972) and broadcast on April 30 -
is filled with nostalgia and emotion as singers celebrated for their
golden voices, a few of whom are now gone, sang arias and duets from
some of the world's most beloved operas in homage to the man responsible
in no small measure for catapulting them to stardom and for transforming
the Met into the cultural powerhouse
that it is today.
on the LINKS below to listen to clips from the CD's featured selections.
Except for the background music clip - Track 5 which is a spoof based
on "Chacun a son goût" from J. Strauss' Die Fledermaus
and sung with spunk and gusto by the celebrated mezzo-soprano
(photo at right), all the selections are arias and duets - pure and
unadulterated- delivered at the intensity level of fully staged productions.
Let's have some fun and make of the clips a little quiz to see how
well you know - from the voice or the image - the opera stars of yesteryears
who sang them. Of those featured in the CD, only one singer continues
to pursue an active career on the operatic stage to this day. Can
you guess who?
Hint: Some of the artists featured
on the CD are shown in the following slideshow of headshots and Metropolitan
Opera production photos of .
credits: Metropolitan Opera Archives