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Manon / Beverly Sills, Gedda, Souzay, Bacquier; Rudel
Jules Massenet, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Manon / Beverly Sills, Gedda, Souzay, Bacquier; Rudel
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #3

Beverly Sills's singing career is mainly remembered for her bel canto operas and bubbly talk-show appearances. But the title role of Manon was one of her very finest efforts, and it's heard here in an all-around excelle...  more »

     
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Amazon.com
Beverly Sills's singing career is mainly remembered for her bel canto operas and bubbly talk-show appearances. But the title role of Manon was one of her very finest efforts, and it's heard here in an all-around excellent recording. Caught here in her prime, Sills's thrilling singing technique illuminated her considerable theatrical mind with brilliant clarity. So while this is a spectacularly sung Manon, Sills also maintains a sense of childlike delight that keeps the character's greedier moments from becoming unduly repulsive. It's a great performance. Her leading man, Nicolai Gedda, sounds a bit vocally aged, but it's still Gedda (which is something). As Manon's father, the great Gerard Souzay makes one of his few full-opera recorded appearances. Conductor Julius Rudel leads a big, red-blooded, almost-Italianate performance that's also alert to how incredibly well-wrought and inventive this score is. --David Patrick Stearns

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CD Reviews

Beautiful Opera- Beautiful Performance
Tracy L. Powell | Bangkok, Thailand | 02/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jules Massenet's Manon contains some of the most touching and beautiful melodies in all of opera. And Beverly Sills and Nicolai Gedda make these melodies seem all the more beautiful. Sills is exceptional as Manon- a role she has performed all over the world. When we are first introduced to Manon, Sills' lovely lyric voice perfectly portrays Manon as the sheltered, innocent, yet inquisitive girl that she is. Later on the more experienced Manon is also convincingly sung by Sills. Nicolai Gedda may not have been a young man when this recording was made (1970) but he certainly wasn't too long in the tooth. No matter his age he sounds absoutely like the young, passionate lover Des Grieux. The other cast members also bring out the most in their characters, including Gabriel Bacquier as Le Comte des Grieux and Gerard Souzay as Lescaut."
A classic recording
M. Temple | Houston, TX USA | 12/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Some don't like Beverly Sills' voice, but this recording shows how beautiful her voice could be and how insightful her acting always was. Excellent supporting cast with a slightly older Gedda still in good voice. If you buy only one recording of Manon, buy this one.... by far the very best recording(and soprano!)ever."
A real crowd pleaser!
C. G. King | Horse Country, VA USA | 08/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm surprised this opera is not performed in the US more -- it's fabulous. This recording is the best -- clear and lush -- all the singers are wonderful and the instrumentals and chorals just make you want to 'conduct' and sing along with vigor. Even people who don't like opera will love this."