Puccini: Madama Butterfly CD (Maria Callas)

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.

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Cio-Cio-San: Maria Callas
Pinkerton: Nicolai Gedda
Goro: Renato Ercolani
Suzuki: Lucia Danieli
Sharpless: Mario Borriello
Il Commissario:Enrico Campi
II Bonzo: Plinio Clabassi
Kate Pinkerton: Luisa Villa

Coro e Orchestra del teatro alla Scala di Milano
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Chorus Master: Norberto Mola
Year: 1955
Remastered at 24-BIT 96kHz in 2014