The soprano Anja Harteros, who is featured below in a clip from Verdi's “La Forza del Destino" and Wagner's "Lohengrin."CreditLaetitia Vancon for The New York Times
In addition to reviews, features and news during the week, our critics and reporters collect the best of what they’ve heard: notes that sent shivers down their spines, memorable voices, quotations that cut to the heart of the story. This week, we’re offering a glimpse into the research we’ve done for stories on YouTube.
Callas at Her Peak
I’ll be one of the lovers of Bellini heading to the Caramoor Festival on Saturday to hear a semi-staged performance of “Il Pirata.” The cast is headed by the superb soprano Angela Meade, who proved a remarkable Bellini singer in an acclaimed “Norma” at the Metropolitan Opera in 2013. “Il Pirata,” an important early success for Bellini, mostly languished during the early decades of the 20th century, but a 1958 La Scala production starring Maria Callas brought it international attention. A thrilling video from a 1959 concert performance in Hamburg presents Callas at her peak, singing Imogene’s intense final scene. Catch the moment halfway through when Callas’s Imogene realizes that the renegade pirate she still loves has been condemned. Her eerie silence and wild-eyed look is chilling. ANTHONY TOMMASINI