Maria Callas did not make complete studio recordings of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and Bellini’s Il pirata (these two operas are both available in the new Callas Live Edition), though, as the queen of La Scala, she enjoyed triumphs in both roles in 1957–1958.
The vocally and dramatically demanding final scenes of both operas feature in this recital with Ophélie’s mad scene from Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet, another coloratura extravaganza. When this recital first appeared in 1959, Gramophone wrote: ‘This is a most remarkable record, not only for its material … but for its astonishing vividness and dramatic poetry …
It has been a thing of much wonder for me.’
1. Anna Bolena, Act 2: "Piangete voi?...Al dolce guidami castel natio" (Anna Bolena, Smeton, Lord Percy, Hervery, Lord Rochefort, Chorus) - Maria Callas
1. Hamlet, Act 4: "A vos jeux mes amis" (Ophelie) - Maria Callas
2. Il pirata, Act 2: "Oh! s'io potessi" (Imogene) - Maria Callas