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In 1969, the NYTimes published an article before the premiere of Boito's MEFISTOFELE starring Norman Treigle and Carol Neblett in Tito Capobianco's unforgettable production. Both Treigle and Neblett were cited by Harold Schonberg for their extraordinary singing and acting. Treigle was invited to record it in London. After Treigle's untimely death in 1975, Samuel Ramey took on the role in this production. The Prison aria is well known and was originally written by Boito for an earlier unfinished opera but then used in MEFISTOFELE. The Bologna version survived but with awkward cuts from the original score.

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author

I did not know the aria was for a previous piece! Thank you!

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At Ramapo College I did an independent study on Boito, Verdi (and Bill). I also made a special trip to Verdi's grave during my year at LaScala in Milan and noted il Piazza Arrigo Boito there as well. Not to mention Boito, Eleanora Duse and Pittsburgh; they were lovers and she died there on tour.

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Ero e Leandro was the opera's name.

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Dec 5, 2021Liked by Opera Daily

I saw Boito's opera many years ago in Atlanta. I have no memory of this aria, but I suspect I would have remembered it if it had been sung by one of your recommended singers. I remember mostly the character who played the devil (whoever it was). He was so utterly convincing that when he stepped on the stage at the end to a thunderous ovation and suddenly smiled broadly I was shocked - how odd it seemed, to see the devil grinning happily. I thought that it was surely an opera to see again, but, decades later, I haven't ever seen it performed anywhere else.

BTW, I see you'll be discussing Figaro at Glyndebourne. That was one of the first DVD's I ever bought. If you know of any singer in the world who could do Cherubino better than Flicka, I'll be delighted to know who that is.

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I saw VonStade do it w/Paris Opera in Strehler's Versaille edition at the Kennedy Center and her debut w/La Scala in CENERENTOLLA !!! Both thrilling w/Abbado and Georg Solti w/Paris OPera.

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Feb 16, 2022Liked by Opera Daily

Isabel Leonard is the best Cherubino I have ever seen or heard. You can see her in the role in Glyndeborne and Met productions.

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Dec 6, 2021Liked by Opera Daily

Beautiful

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Von Stade was sine qua non as Cherubino

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BTW when I was at LaScala I discovererd "Via Boito" a little street named for him in Milan.

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There was a Euro trash version of MEFISTOFELE that used a huge stage encompasing cranium as design and Elvis Presley in the Celestial Choruses on PBS. What I saw was a desecration and actually an assault on Goethe too.

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Feb 17, 2022Liked by Opera Daily

Uh, this is one of the first arias I heard when first introduced to opera. Many sopranos have recorded this masterpiece. I'm not sure if it qualifies as the "most beautiful aria you've never heard". But oh well, it's definitely beautiful and never hurts to have attention brought to it. Cheers

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author

That is amazing! I know we have a lot of opera fans here at OD, but you'd be surprised how many people have not heard it! :-)

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