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--Standard Repertory--

By Lorenzo Da Ponte/Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

VIDEO: Knut Skram, Ileana Cotrubas, Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica Von Stade, Benjamin Luxon, Pritchard conducts; Glyndebourne, 1973; VAI 69004

As with Mozart's Cosi and a very few others, this is a work that repays multiple interpretations [G.R.]

AUDIO: A) DECCA/LONDON: Samuel Ramey, Lucia Popp, Kiri Te Kanawa, Thomas Allen, Frederica Von Stade, Solti conducting; superb singing in excellent stereo [G.R.]

B) ASDISC: Ezio Pinza, Bidu Sayao, Eleanor Steber, John Brownlee, Jarmila Novotna, Walter conducting; "live" 1944 at the Met; limited edition CD in fair sound, slight cuts, mono [G.R.]

C) EMI: Giuseppe Taddei, Anna Moffo, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Eberhard Waechter, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giulini conducting; one of the most vividly conducted sets around, slight cuts, stereo [G.R.]

D) EMI: Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender, Audrey Mildmay, Aulikki Rautavaara, Roy Henderson, Luise Helletsgruber, Busch conducting; usual Glyndebourne ensemble with the best conducting of all, but beware heavy cuts; fair sound, mono, 1935 [G.R.]

E) DECCA/LONDON: Cesare Siepi, Hilde Gueden, Lisa Della Casa, Alfred Poell, Suzanne Danco, Erich Kleiber conducting; inviting, suave performance if without the energy of Giulini or the sheer vocal splendor of the Solti; best conducted of all the uncut sets, stereo [G.R.]

For Further Reading:

W.A. Mozart : Le Nozze Di Figaro (Cambridge Opera Handbooks), by Tim Carter

Marriage of Figaro/Le Nozze Di Figaro, by Nicholas John (Editor) (English National Opera Guides)

The Mozart-Da Ponte Operas : The Cultural and Musical Background to Le Nozze Di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte, by Andrew Steptoe

Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte (Da Capo Press Music Reprint Series), by Lorenzo Da Ponte, Elisabeth Abbott (Translator), Arthur Livingston (Editor) -- Da Ponte was not only one of the greatest librettists to ever live, he was a fascinating character who lived a very long and active life. This book is a great read, parts are very funny and he has interesting things to say about all of the composers he worked with (besides Mozart!), the singers he worked (and sometimes fought) with, the women he loved and the many historically important people he met during his long life.

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