i cannot think of a better way of honouring Verdi's bicentenary than listening to this marvelous set of ten of his most celebrated operas (though it could have been streched to a dozen to include Trovatore and Ernani as well, or Don Carlo and Vespri) performed and brodcast by the Metropolitan opera from the mid thirties to the late sixties, with some of the greatest singers of the past century. All of them have been released before in no authorized editions, with diverse quality of sound. I had most of them and I beleive that the present edition, from the actual tapes curated by the MET, have better sound overall. Particularly the legendary Traviata of Ponselle from 1935 is presented with a restoration that seems to me almost a miracle. I have listened to this recording since its release by Pearl in two vinil discs and later in several CD editions, including the Naxos transfer by Ward Marston, and never thought that anybody could dig out from those old acetate discs (or rather surviving tapes made from the now lost acetates) any more sound. But how wrong I was. In the present incarnation the richness and grandeur of Ponselle 's voice has a presence that I never dreamed possible. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Only for that I would have gladly paid this set asking price. But then you get the 1940 Otello, in opinion of the late John Steane (to me the supreme authority regarding vocal criticism) the best performance by Martinelli and the rest of the principals that have been preserved. Which is like saying the best Otello in recorded history. The other 8 operas are equally superb performances by some of the greatest verdian singers of the past, schooled unlike many of the present "stars" in an almost lost tradition of singing, which combined attack and legato, impeccable phrasing, beautiful tone and expresive declamation. Get it while it lasts.