Author Topic: Bing Met Gala  (Read 3228 times)

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Offline knight66

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Bing Met Gala
« on: June 09, 2007, 03:09:13 AM »
DG have just reissued roughly an hour of the Met Gala celebrating the career, and possibly the departure, of Sir Rudolf Bing in 1972.

Clearly Bing was a difficult person, a mini dictator, he sacked Callas for instance and although Birgit Nilsson appears on the disc, they certainly had some fallings out. Amongst the items issued is an adaptation in English of 'Chacun a son gout' from Fledermaus. There are plenty of deeply acidic comments in the revised words laying open the temperament of Bing in a far from flattering way, though seemingly it was all meant with great affection. (Ha!)

The real pity here is that DG has not added to the material on the LP, it may be no more was preserved and I understand that what we have here is the single hour, from a long evening, that was broadcast on TV.

It makes for a very unbalanced programme, but there are real gems.

Manon Lescaut....Caballe/Domingo/Levine
Figaro...Leontine Price/Molinari-Pradelli
La Forza...Tucker/Merrill/Molinari-Pradelli
Otello...Corelli/Zylis-Gara /Bohm

At least two of these items are on YouTube. These are the Nilsson and Corelli items. Both are exciting. Nilsson simply stands at the front of the stage and hurls out some of the most exciting possible sounds. It is good to have Bohm's equally exciting support. The crowd go wild. Oddly, the prompt is very audible, somehow I simply cannot imagine she needed the help when so clearly in full, glorious flow.

The Otello is possibly all we have of Corelli in the part. He sings, healthily, but with great unsubtly and is sung off the stage by Zylis-Gara who provides some of the best, most musical and subtle singing on the disc.

Now why do we have Price singing Mozart? Perhaps elsewhere she sang some more typical piece. The Mozart is very good, but this is not music especially associated with her. No French opera, no Wagner. Verdi gets the lion's share. I am not keen on Arroyo, a lot of scooping up to notes. The Fledermaus seems to me to be specific to the Met brigade. Altogether then, short measure, a slightly disappointing selection, but I am nevertheless grateful for some of the tracks. The atmosphere is well caught and the sound is excellent.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 05:40:47 AM by knight »
DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
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Re: Bing Met Gala
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2007, 05:42:42 AM »
I have the orignal LP release.  I seem to recall that it says "Volume I", or something like that, but there never was a "II".  Surely, there must have been more recorded.  The full gala did include French and Wagner selections.  Here's the program, copied from the Met's online database:

Luisa Miller: Overture
Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Dunque io son
Roberta Peters
Sherrill Milnes
La Bohème: Donde lieta uscì
Teresa Stratas
Otello: Credo
Thomas Stewart
Luisa Miller: L'alto retaggio
Paul Plishka
Ruggero Raimondi
Conductor...............James Levine

Manon: Gavotte
Anna Moffo
Il Trovatore: Tacea la notte placida
Martina Arroyo
Lucia di Lammermoor: Verranno a te
Joan Sutherland
Luciano Pavarotti
Strauss: Acceleration Waltz
Metropolitan Opera Ballet
Conductor...............Richard Bonynge

Rigoletto: Tutte le feste
Gail Robinson
Cornell MacNeil
Louise: Depuis le jour
Dorothy Kirsten
La Cenerentola: Un segreto
Fernando Corena
Ezio Flagello
Manon Lescaut: Tu tu amore tu
Montserrat Caballé
Plácido Domingo
Conductor...............James Levine

Le Cid: Pleurez mes yeux
Grace Bumbry
Les Trois Valses (Oscar Straus): Je t'aime
Régine Crespin
Conductor...............Richard Bonynge

Andrea Chénier: Nemico della patria
Mario Sereni
I Lombardi: Act III Prelude and Qual voluttà trascorrere
Lucine Amara
Enrico Di Giuseppe
Cesare Siepi
Raymond Gniewek, violin
La Forza del Destino: Invano Alvaro
Richard Tucker
Robert Merrill
Le Nozze di Figaro: Dove sono
Leontyne Price
Conductor: Francesco Molinari-Pradelli

Lowell Wadmond, Chairman of the Board
Sir Rudolf Bing

Die Fledermaus: Chacun à Bing's gout
(English text by John Gutman)
Regina Resnik
Aida: Fu la sorte
Gabriella Tucci
Irene Dalis
Die Zauberflöte: O Isis und Osiris
John Macurdy
Il Trovatore: Di quella pira
James McCracken
Carmen: Act IV: Opening Chorus
Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Conductor...............Kurt Adler

Lohengrin: In fernem Land
Sándor Kónya
Vanessa: Must the winter come so soon
Rosalind Elias
La Bohème: Vecchia zimarra
Jerome Hines
Die Tote Stadt: Glück, das mir verblieb (Marietta's Lied)
Pilar Lorengar
Die Walküre: Act I Conclusion
Leonie Rysanek
Jon Vickers
Conductor...............Max Rudolf

Otello: Love Duet
Teresa Zylis-Gara
Franco Corelli
Salome: Final Scene
Birgit Nilsson
Conductor...............Karl Böhm

Offline knight66

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Re: Bing Met Gala
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 05:51:46 AM »
Thanks for that....some great plumbs missing from the CD. I see Price did indeed only sing Mozart. I wonder whatever Lorengar could have made of her piece, I would never have imagined she could manage such a heavy aria.

DavidW: Yeah Mike doesn't get angry, he gets even.
I wasted time: and time wasted me.

Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Bing Met Gala
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 08:04:54 PM »
I just found this thread by chance and in passing want to heartily recommend Bing's memoirs, "5000 Nights at the Opera". Somehow this book wound up in my possession but thought who would want to read about allegedly boring details of administration? On the contrary, I could not put the book down. Also he wrote later (that I didn't read) a "Knight at the Opera". (This is for you, Mike.)

Here is a clip of Corelli and Zylis-Gara from the Gala: Othello entirely in love with himself...she's great, her OPEN vowels...

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Offline grandma

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Re: Bing Met Gala
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 03:38:20 PM »
About 8 years ago I purchased a CD of Bing's Gala from a web site in France. 

Wendel, I got the information from Standing Room at "Opera News."  Did you purchase that CD?  I am not home now to check the contents of that CD.

Anne a.k.a. grandma
(When I return home from babysitting my grandchildren in O'Fallon, Il, I'll revert to Anne again)