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Tosca Met Opera

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Product Details

  • Performer: Leontyne; Corelli; Macneil
  • Composer: Puccini Giacomo
  • Audio CD (Jan. 25 2011)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sme
  • ASIN: B004ECFW8A
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,188 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa60d5534) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa619d744) out of 5 stars The Met finally opens its vaults, in glorious sound Jan. 27 2011
By Shaun Greenleaf - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
To begin with a correction of Sony's description, and as other reviewers have already pointed out, this performance has been available for some years in what I have always considered good sound, on MYTO, at about twice the oprice of this issue; and possibly on other labels as well. Sony asserts that this is the "first release on CD" which is inaccurate; but it is the first "official" commercial release, and the sound, pretty good to start with, has been restored in a way I consider to be a meaningful improvement. And it is an exciting performance, with Price in uninhibited and voluptuous voice, Corelli at his peak, and MacNeil in splendid form as well. Kurt Adler knows the work and maintains firm order (not always easy with Corelli), but this is not a conductor's performance. This is a magnificent, old-fashioned, singer's afternoon, and there are very, very few commercial "Tosca" recordings that can equal it--certainly neither Price's (handicapped, sadly, by Di Stefano) or Corelli's (undone by Dieskau's unidiomatic Scarpia and the ham-handed conducting of Maazel). If you already own the MYTO, as I do, you may well still find this sufficiently improved to buy it, especially at this very low price. If you've never heard it--buy it now.

The real significance of this release--and the "Boheme", "Barbiere" and "Romeo" that accompany it--is that the Met has always hoarded these broadcasts and released only a handful as "gifts" to donors of significant contributions. Private label iterations abound, but often in compromised sound, and virtually never from original sources. If these releases sell, we can hope that the Met will find them a significant source of income and open the vaults to Sony, who, with access to the best source material available, may be able to make, as I believe they have here, significant improvements to the sound. For an idea of what the Met's vaults contain, look at Paul Jackson's 3 volume history of the broadcasts, "Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met", "Sign-Off for the Old Met", and "Startup at the New Met." Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met: The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, 1931-1950 (Amadeus)Start-Up at the New Met: The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, 1966-1976 (Amadeus)Sign-Off for the Old Met: The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, 1950-1966It would not surprise me at all to learn that many more recordings were made in-house that were not radio broadcasts, although I do not know this to be the case. There is no way to know what priceless treasures may exist, but the prospect is a very exciting one.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa628b408) out of 5 stars A Great Recording Feb. 9 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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It doesn't matter to me if this Tosca was released once or a hundred times. It's here again in all it's glory. The terrific sound should not surprise anyone for the opened reel 4 track tape was even being used at home by the very early sixties. What does matter is the great singing and singing like this could never be dated just rare.
What a fine Tosca Leontyne Price makes. She is in glorious voice with thrilling and free top notes right up to 'C' and her sense of phrasing is brilliant. I can't say enough about her performance here. It is feminine and direct when she has to be. It is so refreshing to hear a Tosca who isn't chewing up the floor boards for a change. I have not heard her Tosca since 1962.
You could expect no less from Franco Corelli. Corelli had a golden throat. Where and how did that voice come from? Opulence all the way. He is thrilling the same way he lit up the stage when I saw him in person.
Cornell MacNeil was always a favorite and easily a match for Price and Corelli. I saw the three of them do Ernani.
And as for Kurt Adler he serves up nicely allowing singers their freedom especially Corelli. And it's nice to hear Ezio Flagello and company. Thank you Sony and The Met
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65ba3f0) out of 5 stars Leontyne Price at her absolute prime Jan. 26 2011
By cruisewhiz - Published on Amazon.com
The new release of a Met broadcast from 1962 sounds great, sonically much better than I thought it would. You can just feel the excitement and electricity in the air during this performance. Price fans generally have all recorded versions of Tosca but this one is a welcome addition. The fact that we have Franco Corelli is also remarkable. Thank you Metropolitan Opera and Sony for sharing these treasure with us. I just pulled my Price/Corelli Carmen out to play too.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa629bd68) out of 5 stars Sheer gorgeousness June 18 2011
By P. Ho - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is absolutely the most gorgeously sung "Tosca" I have come across. I really did not think I would need yet another recording of "Tosca" (I already owned at least half a dozen). However just the sheer sumptuousness of both leads draws me to this recording more often than the others. Leontyne Price and Franco Corelli are absolutely irresistible together. Of course Maria Callas and Magda Olivero may offer more penetrating insight on Tosca, but neither they nor others offer as much sheer beauty and ease of vocalism as Miss Price. And what else can one say about Franco Corelli? Wow!

I have no problems with the sound, although I understand the quibbles from other reviewers. But taken all together this duo combined with Cornell McNeill's commanding Scarpia overcome any minor complaints from this recording. Additionally Kurt Adler's conducting effectively moves things as they should, and he supports his well endowed singers without indulgence.

In sum, despite the irresistible attractions of this set I will not necessarily get rid of my other "Tosca" recordings either, but this only shows how well Puccini wrote for his singers and the theater, that it thrives on so many interpretations.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa60c5b10) out of 5 stars the cast listing says it all April 15 2011
By Alan Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
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When we compare the singing on this live radio broadcast performance to what we hear now, it is incredible that we once took this kind of singing for granted. No one today can soar as confidently into those high Cs with as much gorgeous tone as Leontyne Price, here in absolutely prime. When most sopranos are still warming up in act one, she is flooding our ears with that voice - and lots of fire, too. Franco Corelli recorded Cavaradossi with Nilsson, but here he is even better than in the studio. The act one high B - "Or vita mi costassi" is so full and easy, it just floors us. He is even dramatically involved. Corneil MacNeil, before the bass-baritones got hold of Scarpia, is wonderfully menacing. He, too, is rock solid. The rest of the cast is standard issue Met of the 60s, which is to say fabulous.

Does the sound show its age or origin? Yes. But who cares? This shows us what Tosca can be without editing between takes. Wow!

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