Tonight at 6:00 p.m. I will take part in a panel discussion about Gounod’s Faust and the critics at Lincoln Center. We will also touch on Boito’s Mefistofele.
Today, then, Maria Callas’s 1963 recording of Marguerite’s Air des bijoux. Walter Legge recalled that Callas had to repeat the last dozen bars of the aria for the better part of three hours in order to come up with an acceptable ending. But if those final bars are dodgy, the rest of the aria is a marvel, gossamer light and sparkling with quintessentially French charme.
Callas sang this aria during her Greek years and also taught it at Juilliard.