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The Sunday Opera: Verdi's "Luisa Miller" with Anna Moffo and Carlo Bergonzi

The age-old story of boy gets girl, boy loses girl, and boy poisons girl is featured on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/18 3:00 p.m.) in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Luisa Miller.”   The Tyrolean maid Luisa is in love with a stranger to her village named Carlo much to the chagrin of her father, and his misgivings are well founded when Carlo is revealed to be Rodolfo, the son of the treacherous Count Walter who has another bride in mind for him, Walter’s niece, Federica.   Add to this the machinations of the evil Wurm, and our lovers are surely doomed.    This recording was chosen because it features a cast of singers who don’t get the notice that they should and deserve.  Luisa is Anna Moffo, her Rodolfo is Carlo Bergonzi, and Cornell MacNeil is Miller, her father.  Giorgio Tozzi is the meddling Count Walter and Ezio Flagello the scheming Wurm.   Our cast also includes Shirley Verrett as Federica, Cabriella Carturan as Laura, and the king of the comprimario roles, Piero de Palma as a Peasant.   Fausto Cleva conducts the RCA Italian Opera Orchestra and Chorus. 

We’ll finish our time together with music by a Croatian composer whose music is largely unknown.   Her name is Dora Pejacevic, and we’ll hear two of her delightful pieces, a piano trio and her Symphony in F sharp major.    You too will be amazed that she was largely self-taught when you hear her works.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.