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The Royal Opera House

Verdi: I vespri siciliani CD (Erich Kleiber)

I vespri siciliani, originally conceived as a grand opéra for Paris, is one of Verdi’s most ambitious works, and the multi-faceted central role of Elena is one his most demanding: Callas is one of the few sopranos who have encompassed its vocal and dramatic diversity. This performance – conducted by Erich Kleiber and with Boris Christoff as the Sicilian activist Procida – took place in Florence in Spring 1951. Just over six months later, Callas opened the season at La Scala in the same opera. I vespri siciliani also served for her sole foray into directing opera, for the opening of the new Teatro Regio in Turin in 1973.

Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
La duchessa Elena: Maria Callas
Arrigo: Giórgios Kokoliós-Bardi
Guido di Montforte: Enzo Mascherini
Giovanni da Procida: Boris Christoff 

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Comunale di Firenze
Conductor: Erich Kleiber
Year: 1951
Remastered: 2017
Running Time: 168:18 mins
Sung in Italian