Listing Detail Tabs

Vanessa Naxos 8.669140-41


Composer(s):


Barber, Samuel


Lyricist(s):


Menotti, Gian Carlo


Conductor(s):


Rose, Gil


Choir(s):


Ukrainian National Capella “Dumka”


Artist(s):


Bauwens, Ray; Chickering, Ellen; Conrad, Richard; Dry, Marion; Lima, Philip;
Matthews, Andrea

Barber began concentrated work on Vanessa, a name he took from a book, How to
Name Your Child, during the winter of 1956, when the Metropolitan announced that
it would produce the opera. In October of 1957, Barber played (and sang) the
completed sections for representatives of the Met and its General Manager,
Rudolf Bing. Immediately discussions about casting began, and Barber attended
many Met performances listening to singers who might possibly fill the various
parts. Maria Callas, then at the height of her fame, was his preferred choice
for the title rôle. Barber invited her to Capricorn, the home he and Menotti
had built in Mt. Kisco, NY, and played through the score for her. Callas was
unimpressed, feeling that the rôle of Erika was stronger than that of the
protagonist, and she refused to consider it. It was finally decided that Sena
Jurinac, the Yugoslavian soprano star of the Vienna State Opera and the
Glyndebourne Festival would make her Met début as Vanessa. A lyric soprano
renowned for her Mozart interpretations, Jurinac was also an extraordinary
linguist and spoke excellent English. So too did the Swedish tenor, Nicolai
Gedda, whom Barber had heard in Paris and felt was perfect for the rôle

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