Maria Callas
Teatro alla Scala, Milano 06 Aug 1955
Studio Remastered 2014
2CD 0825646340996 - DIGITAL

Puccini: Madama Butterfly

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Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano

Herbert von Karajan

A famous backstage photo was taken in Chicago after one of just three performances that Callas gave of Madama Butterfly; it shows the soprano  in her Japanese costume, snarling furiously at a bailiff who had served a writ on her – the very image of the tempestuous diva. By contrast, in  her recording of the role, ‘it is, miraculously,’ as the critic John Osborne observed, ‘the 15-year- old girl and not the great Callas who stands before us.’ Her genius for vocal characterisation finds an apt complement in Herbert von Karajan’s conducting: ‘a wholly sympathetic rendering [that] brings out more of the detail of the score than I have ever heard before’, wrote Gramophone.

Puccini: Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San): Maria Callas
Suzuki: Lucia Danieli
B. F. Pinkerton: Nicolai Gedda
Kate Pinkerton: Luisa Villa
Sharpless: Mario Borriello
Goro: Renato Ercolani
Yamadori: Mario Carlin
Il bonzo: Plinio Clabassi
Il commissario: Enrico Campi