Sony Classical has gathered together in a boxed set 10 operas by Verdi that were broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera from1935 to 1967. No one is claiming that any of these are the best performances that could have been chosen, but the historical interest is great and many listeners might recall hearing these very broadcasts.
Each 2-CD opera is in its own cardboard envelope and there is a booklet giving background information and tracking numbers and timings for all of the performances. All I wish to do here is to list the operas with broadcast years and lead singers. I hope the omission of first names will cause no problems.
“La Traviata” (1935)—Ponselle, Jaegel, Tibbett; “Otello” (1940)—Martinelli, Rethberg, Tibbett; “Un Ballo in Maschera” (1940)—Milanov, Bjoerling; “Rigoletto” (1945)—Warren, Sayao, Bjoerling; “Falstaff” (1949)—Warren, Resnik, Valdengo, Albanese.
“Simon Boccanegra” (1950)—Warren, Varnay, Tucker; “La Forza del Destino” (1952), Milanov, Tucker, Warren; “Macbeth” (1959)—Warren, Rysanek, Bergonzi; “Nabucco” (1960), MacNeil, Rysanek, Siepi; “Aida” (1967)—Price, Bergonzi, Bumbry, Merrill, Hines.
I believe many of my readers would be most interested in hearing all of these, even with the audio as it was then. I do miss all the intermission features, which I wish would be released in separate CD sets.