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Joan Sutherland

The Art of Prima Donna (2CD)

Sutherland’s sensational debut recital album, long unavailable on its own, reissued with photographs and rarely seen costume designs for the soprano’s signature roles.

When these recordings first appeared, Joan Sutherland was on the brink of a spectacular international career; just behind her was the sensation of her Royal Opera debut in Lucia di Lammermoor, early in 1959, by the end of which she had operatic London at her feet. Initially released as a pair of albums but soon enough compiled together, they were made in Kingsway Hall in the summer of 1959, and they caused a stir all of their own.

This was due not only to the extraordinary focus of Sutherland’s soprano, her fearlessly assured negotiation of wide intervals and her immaculate breath control, but to the carefully chosen repertoire which, as the titling informed its first listeners, was conceived as a homage to the art of soprano singing and some of its outstanding representatives.

CD 1
THOMAS ARNE (1710–1778)
The soldier tir’d of war’s alarms (Artaxerxes)

Let the Bright Seraphim (Samson)

Sediziose voci … Casta Diva … Ah! bello a me ritorna (Norma)
Son vergin vezzosa (I puritani)

Bel raggio lusinghier (Semiramide)

O rendetemi la speme … Qui la voce … Vien, diletto (I puritani)
Care compagne, e voi, tenere amici (La sonnambula)

CHARLES GOUNOD (1818–1893)
O Dieu ! que de bijoux … Ah ! je ris de me voir ‘Jewel Song’ (Faust)

CD 2
CHARLES GOUNOD (1818–1893)
Ah ! Je veux vivre ‘Waltz Song’ (Roméo et Juliette)

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
Mia madre aveva una povera ancella … Piangea cantando ‘Willow Song’ (Otello)

Martern aller Arten (Die Entführung aus dem Serail)

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
E’ strano! … Ah, fors’è lui … Sempre libera (La traviata)

A vos jeux, mes amis, permettez-moi (Mad scene) (Hamlet)

LÉO DELIBES (1836–1891)
Ah ! Où va la jeune Indoue ? (Bell Song) (Lakmé)

O beau pays de la Touraine ! (Les Huguenots)

GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901)
Gualtier Maldè … Caro nome (Rigoletto)

Joan Sutherland, soprano
Harry Dilley, trumpet (Let the Bright Seraphim)
Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Francesco Molinari-Pradelli