Maria Callas
Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris 19 Dec 1958
Blu-ray 0825646054152

Toujours – Paris 1958

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Orchestre et Choeurs du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris

Georges Sébastian

Callas made her belated Paris debut with this concert at the sumptuous Paris Opéra – now known as the Palais Garnier – in 1958. It was a major social event, attended by le tout Paris, and Callas appeared on the famous stage wearing her most elegant couture and a million dollars’ worth of jewellery. She opened with Norma’s “Casta diva”, which was followed by Leonora’s plaintive aria and the gripping “Miserere” from Act 4 of Il trovatore, before she lightened the mood with “Una voce poco fa” from Il barbiere di Siviglia. The second half of the evening offered a staged version of Act 2 of Tosca, for which Callas was joined by her familiar and brilliant sparring partner, Tito Gobbi, as Scarpia and the Australian-born tenor Albert Lance as Cavaradossi. The conductor was Georges Sébastian. Paris became the last city in which Callas appeared in a new operatic production (Norma, 1965) and she died, aged just 53, in her apartment in its elegant 16th arrondissement in 1977.

Toujours – Paris 1958

Maria Callas: soprano
Tito Gobbi: baritone
Albert Lance: tenor
Louis Rialland: tenor
Jean Paul Hurteau: bass