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Maria Callas – “O Dei! Propiziate il destino… La Calma rinascea, ma, in fondo al mio Cor” – “Iphigénie en Tauride” (“Ifigenia in Tauride” – Italian version by Lorenzo da Ponte) – Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

by Luca

Maria Callas – “O Dei! Propiziate il destino… La Calma rinascea, ma, in fondo al mio Cor” Opening Scene (sung in ItalianM) – Italian version by Lorenzo da Ponte of “Iphigénie en Tauride” (“Ifigenia in Tauride”) – Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787).

LIVE at Teatro alla Scala, Milano, I – 1957
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala
M.° Nino Sanzogno Conductor
Luchino Visconti Director.

“‘Iphigénie en Tauride’ is a 1779 opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck in four acts. It was his fifth opera for the French stage. The libretto was written by Nicolas-François Guillard.
With Iphigénie, Gluck took his operatic reform to its logical conclusion. The recitatives are shorter and they are ‘récitatif accompagné’ (i.e. the strings and perhaps other instruments are playing, not just continuo accompaniment). The normal dance movements that one finds in the French ‘tragédie en musique’ are almost entirely absent. The drama is ultimately based on the play ‘Iphigenia in Tauris’ by the ancient Greek dramatist Euripides which deals with stories concerning the family of Agamemnon in the aftermath of the Trojan War.
In 1781 Gluck produced a German version of the opera, ‘Iphigenia in Tauris,’; the Italian version was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte and staged in 1783.
In 1889 Richard Strauss made a new arrangement of the work for the publisher Adolph Fürstner, which was later staged in Weimar at the Hoftheater on 9 June 1900, under the Goethe-inspired title of Iphigenie auf Tauris. Strauss’s version was quite often performed at the beginning of the twentieth century and was also used for the work’s première at the Metropolitan Opera in 1916, but is by now rarely heard. It was recorded in 1961 with Montserrat Caballé in the title role.
As for the Da Ponte Italian version, there was a “memorable” staging at the Teatro alla Scala in 1957, with Nino Sanzogno conducting the orchestra, Luchino Visconti as the director and Maria Callas in the title role. The performance of 1 June was also recorded live and is now available in CD.”