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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Embracing the Past: The Value of History’s Great Opera Recordings
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America
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I can trace my love for great opera recordings to one recording of one aria: Joan Sutherland’s “In questa reggia” from the 1972 recording of Puccini’s Turandot with Zubin Mehta conducting. As a high school student just beginning to discover my own voice, the beauty and power of Sutherland’s performance was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it inspired me to search for other treasures in the vast canon of opera recordings. By the time I entered the Crane School of Music I had compiled a list of personal favorites: Pavarotti’s Duke of Mantua, Schwarzkopf’s Marschallin and Popp’s Susanna, to name a few. Listening to these recordings not only reminded me why I loved to sing but also gave me a sense of the illustrious lineage of opera singers whose talent and artistry are an integral part of the art form’s history.

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