Cherubini: Medea / Rescigno, Callas, Vickers, Cossotto, Carlyle

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Maria Callas first performed Cherubini's Medea in 1953 and then again in the 1953-4 La Scala season with Leonard Bernstein. She continued to perform Medea during the 1950s and 1960s, most famously in Dallas and in London in 1959 conducted by Nicola Rescigno and featuring the young Jon Vickers.

This recording of the performance on 30 June 1959 at the Royal Opera House received rave reviews. The Times wrote of the first night (June 17), 'It is this play of conflicting, oscillating, burning feelings that is the core of the opera … and it is this fluctuation which Callas can convey with unique art.' George Mayer in the American Record Guide wrote, 'Callas builds her performance into one powerful line of increasing tension. It is the kind of performance which spoils one for anything less from the opera stage.' Callas has a very strong supporting cast of Jon Vickers (Giasone), Fiorenza Cossotto (Neris) and Nicola Zaccaria (Creonte).

Other versions of the Covent Garden Medea exist but ICA Classics have very carefully remastered some new tapes which have produced excellent sound for their period.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: ICAC 5110

  • UPC: 5060244551107

  • Label: ICA Classics

  • Composer: Luigi Cherubini

  • Conductor: Nicola Rescigno

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus, Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra

  • Performer: David Allen, Fiorenza Cossotto, Joan Carlyle, Jon Vickers, Maria Callas, Mary Wells, Nicola Zaccaria