Carley’s Staff Picks, for your enjoyment

To me, ’tis the season for Opera. For some reason I feel like I’m being bombarded with it. Are all of the HD Live-from-the-Met broadcasts contributing to a sort of comeback for the art? This live 1955 recording of Lucia di Lammermoor features Maria Callas in the role that she was born to perform. From its thematic depiction of the Scottish highlands in the overture through its perfect mad scene and finale, this is an unforgettable recording.

Lucia di Lammermoor – Donizetti –  CD 8254

No plot could be more devastating and tragic than Lucia’s, right? Wrong. Enter Susannah. If you’re not familiar with this mid-20th century American masterpiece you’re in for a wild ride.

Ready the Kleenex.

Susannah – Carlisle Floyd – CD 8401

The World So Wide – Dawn Upshaw – CD 7897

I was looking for a recording of Copland’s The Tenderland and I came across Dawn Upshaw, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Upshaw is a controversial artist. Her distinct and lyrical voice is especially light for the repertoire in which she specializes yet she is unarguably a defining voice of her generation.

La Traviata – Giuseppe Verdi – CD 3576

Anna Netrebko is another of our contemporaries who is constantly criticized for her timbre and overtly sexualized performances and I really love her gusto. I’m going to propose that La Traviata is perhaps the best we have heard from this powerful singer yet.