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Lucia di Lammermoor


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Maria Callas made two studio recordings of Lucia, both available on EMI. Also available are various recordings of live performances of Maria Callas. The best, also issued by EMI, is of a performance in Berlin in 1955 conducted by Herbert von Karajan, with Giuseppe di Stefano as Edgardo. The Berlin recording, on EMI, can be ordered through (MP3, John Ardoin in The Callas Legacy: the Complete Guide to Her Recordings on Compact Disc said of this recording: "The powerful alchemy which existed between Callas and Karajan finds its most finished and exciting outlet in this Lucia. . . . If I could own but a single Callas set, it would be this one."

Callas's recordings were made with what at the time were the "traditional cuts." Later studio recordings were more or less complete.

Joan Sutherland's 1961 recording conducted by John Pritchard, was issued on CD, but is no longer in the catalogue. She produced a beautiful sound, but without the dramatic expressivity of Callas. In her 1971 recording for Decca/London, conducted by Richard Bonynge, and with Luciano Pavarotti as Edgardo, Sutherland's voice remains beautiful but exhibits a bit more dramatic characterization. Sutherland's 1971 recording is available on compact disc from

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, recording: DONIZETTI Lucia Di Lammermoor. Joan Sutherland, Joao Gibin, John Shaw, Joseph Rouleau etc. The Covent Garden Opera Chorus, The Covent Garden Orchestra / Tulio Serafin. Royal Opera House 2cds

Beverly Sills recorded Lucia in 1970 when she "was at the peak of her vocal and dramatic powers. She had been singing the role of Lucia on stage for six years, and she knew the character. Here is a manic-depressive who is slightly crazy from the start, and Sills's embellishments to the vocal line (and there are tons of them; hardly a line is left as written), mostly composed especially for her, are always at the service of the drama," writes Robert Levine for



Donizetti re-worked Lucia di Lammermoor somewhat for a French-language version of the opera, entitled Lucie de Lammermoor.


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