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My Favourite Opera Recordings - In no particular order

D. Bennett
 
Verdi: Aida
Verdi: Aida
"One of the finest recorded performances of any opera available"
Puccini: La Bohème
Puccini: La Bohème
"An all-star cast with the glorious Mimi of Victoria de Los Angeles unsurpassed on record.  Beecham is so much more subtle and idiomatic than Karajan/DECCA."
Bellini: Norma
Bellini: Norma
"Callas' portrayal is noble like no other and Filippeschi is a fine Pollione - Serafin is a marvel in this repertoire."
Verdi: Il Trovatore
Verdi: Il Trovatore
"Magnificent- Giulini is brilliant - he gives the music warmth and depth that is wonderful. Domingo is even better than with Mehta."
Wagner: Die Walküre
Wagner: Die Walküre
"Thrilling"
Verdi: Rigoletto
Verdi: Rigoletto
"Three of the greatest roles in Italian opera sung by three Greats of the post-war era."
Wagner: Die Walküre
Wagner: Die Walküre
"Entirely satisfying"
Tosca
Tosca
"Callas, Gobbi and di Stefano have never been equalled. De Sabata was a star among 20th Century conductors."
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
"Freni's greatest recording with wonderful solos and perhaps the finest orchestra in the world."
Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci (DG The Originals)
Leoncavallo: I Pagliacci (DG The Originals)
"Taddei is probably the finest Italian baritone of the 20th Century. Bergonzi is a noble Pagliacco - reminiscent of Bjorling - and this is one of Karajan's best Italian opera recordings"
Bizet: Carmen
Bizet: Carmen
"Quite the finest Carmen in my opinion"
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
"Sutherland's greatest achievement on record; Pavarotti is a wonder as are the fabulous Milnes and Ghiaurov"
Verdi: Nabucco
Verdi: Nabucco
"Suliotis is in fabulous voice in a splendid role - deep strong chest notes and awesome high notes abound. Gobbi is  superb - as always!"
Bellini: I Puritani
Bellini: I Puritani
"This is the finest recording of this opera with a cast that is utterly staggering, among Pavarotti's best recordings."
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro)
Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro)
"A wonderful cast in super sound"
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia / Barber of Seville
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia / Barber of Seville
"The first record you should buy as an introduction to Callas  - Excellent sound, great ensemble and probably Callas' best vocal performance in Stereo"
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
"A wonderfully young-sounding couple surrounded by a superb cast. The orchestra is great, the conductor a marvel."
Verdi: Don Carlo
Verdi: Don Carlo
"Gobbi and Christoff shine. This is probably the only recording with Stella that I really like. I also like Filippeschi although he is a controversial Carlo - someone you either love or hate"
Puccini: Manon Lescaut
Puccini: Manon Lescaut
"Pavarotti and Freni defy the years in this wonderful recording - Taddei, Bertoli and Vargas all contribute to the marvellous sense of energy"
Verdi: La Forza del Destino
Verdi: La Forza del Destino
"A rich, brooding piece with splendid tunes. Hardly the second-rate Verdi it is so often made out to be"