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Ira Siff
Opera News, February 2014

This one boasts a terrific supporting cast and BBC broadcast sound, which gives the feel of the theater, while being quite listenable.

Following this performance with a score, one is struck by the seeming impossibility of the title role. The Callas instrument…has a bizarre affinity for this role and seems to sail through it. She handles the vocal hurdles with the skill of a technical wizard, while seeming to remain entirely in the moment theatrically. Callas as Medea—the sorceress playing a sorceress.

Jon Vickers, [as] Giasone…brings his huge, glorious voice to this rather one-dimensional role, while Nicola Zaccaria—Creonte…offers vocal authority and committed delivery. Joan Carlyle’s lyric soprano has the perfect slenderness and point for Glauce’s aria of apprehension and presage of Medea’s revenge. Fiorenza Cossotto, in the one-aria role of Neris (and what a stunning aria it is!), delivers her music with gorgeous tone, and surprising sensitivity and shading…

Nicola Rescigno brings to this performance his experience with, and deep affection for, the piece. © 2014 Opera News Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, January 2014

This June 1959 Covent Garden performance goes a long way towards restoring the Callas-Vickers collaboration in more attractive and realistic sound.

I can play any moment in this performance for someone and say, with complete confidence, “This is what Maria Callas’s voice actually sounded like.” And that is quite an accomplishment.

Having seen Callas and Vickers, I can almost see their facial expressions and gestures as they perform these roles.

…Carlyle…sings an excellent and affecting Glauce, and Callas always got the best out of her mezzos.

For Callas fans…this issue…is a must-get for your collection. You can safely junk all prior issues of it. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



James A. Altena
Fanfare, January 2014

…this performance has always been preserved in significantly better sound, and now, with this first-ever release taken directly from the master tapes, that quality is significantly improved: the sound has greater clarity and body, and the upper frequencies are much more open.…

In sum, this recording is simply a must-have for all opera lovers, and not just fans of Callas…there remains no real competition for it…this remains the Medea of choice. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Mike Ashman
Gramophone, January 2014

…the Jason is no less than Jon Vickers…singing with a tonal beauty…Callas [as Medea]…is in terrific form in a role whose lower tessitura was beginning to suit her well. A non-love affair (or an ex-love affair) is harder to convey dramatically than burning present passion but the Callas/Vickers team put this over clearly. The support is strong—Zaccaria as the appeaser Creonte…Joan Carlyle as Glauce and Cossotto who makes much of servant Neris’s big Act 2 aria.

A worthwhile addition to the historical catalogue in as good a sound as possible… © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Ralph Moore
MusicWeb International, December 2013

The quality of the Royal Opera’s cast is immediately established by the delightful voices of two British unknowns as the maidservants. Especially notable is the under-recorded Joan Carlyle, who is in purest voice as Glaucis…Zaccaria adds his big, smooth, incisive bass to the mix as an impressive Creonte. The whole is expansively and dramatically conducted by Rescigno, always the most sensitive accompanist to Callas in her latter years.

…this is the one to have if you want to hear La Divina in finest form in a favourite role and worthily accompanied. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review






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6:08:57 AM, 21 November 2014
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