1960 production of I Puritani next release on the Glyndebourne Label

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Glyndebourne is proud to announce that the next recording to be released on its independent CD label is I Puritani from the 1960 Festival conducted by Vittorio Gui with Joan Sutherland singing Elvira

The Glyndebourne Label reflects the desire to further extend Glyndebourne’s work beyond the opera house and draws upon the core values of a commitment to quality and inventiveness. Releases on The Glyndebourne Label draw on the extensive recordings in the archive, which span the years from 1960 to the present day. These recordings are released in pairs, with one recording from the old opera house and one from the new, which opened in 1994.

The recordings were originally made for archival purposes and effectively’eavesdrop’on live performances, the recorded sound derived from microphones of extremely high quality, located for the most part high above the orchestra pit. This practice has resulted in vividly realistic recordings with the sound corresponding very closely to that which the audience heard in the live environment. Recorded by the late John Barnes, with the blessing of the Christie family, this unique collection of performance recordings is now becoming available on CD for the first time.

The CDs are packaged as a hard-bound book containing a full libretto and synopsis in English, French and German along with a commissioned article about the opera.

I Puritani Vincenzo Bellini

The late Joan Sutherland (1926-2010) made a total of five appearances at Glyndebourne, beginning with The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro in 1956 and ending with Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in 1960. Five roles, and four of them Mozart – she even auditioned for the role of Electra in Idomeneo . The exception was I Puritani in 1960.

This, Bellini’s last opera, had not been performed in Britain since 1887. Vittorio Gui, having awoken the Glyndebourne audience to the glories of the Rossinian repertoire, was keen to further develop the Italian theme, and to introduce some otherwise neglected pieces. Add to this the fact that Glyndebourne had at its disposal Sutherland’s extraordinary bel canto talent (which had earned her the nickname’la stupenda’in Venice earlier that year, and had catapulted her to the public’s notice in the title role of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden), and I Puritani becomes an obvious choice.

Having enjoyed its Glyndebourne season, the production was also selected for Glyndebourne’s return to the Edinburgh Festival after an absence of four years. Invited by Robert Ponsonby retiring Festival director, Glyndebourne also took Falstaff and a triple bill of Il segreto di Susanna, La Voix humaine, Arlecchino.

Although the production suffered from the somewhat cramped conditions afforded by Glyndebourne’s small stage, Desmond Heeley’s designs were almost universally praised. Indeed Sutherland borrowed her costumes from the production and had them sent to Barcelona for three performances as Elvira in I Puritani at Gran Teatro Del Liceo in December 1960.

What the Press Said

“From the first dramatic chords of the overture, Mr Vittorio Gui breathed gusts of life and character into the music, showing that Bellini’s harmony abounds in imaginative modulations and cadences..”

“Elvira’s part is full of off-stage entries which stop the heart when Miss Sutherland lavishes her warm, crystalline tones and noble attack on them. There is plenty of life in this music, and a wealth of beauty.”

“Miss Sutherland’s voice goes from strength to strength; here at Glyndebourne she is never tempted to force its glowing colours, and florid divisions trickle from her throat as effortlessly as from any fingered instruments.”- The Times

“The Glyndebourne performance is persuasive. Joan Sutherland is the heroine, her first Bellini role. She sings it fluently, eloquently, with such art and high accomplishment.”- Financial Times

“With Joan Sutherland singing Elvira with extraordinary beauty of tone and line, and the orchestra playing with a new freedom, spontaneity and a welcome lack of affectation, Glyndebourne’s new production justifies itself.”- The Observer

“Joan Sutherland’s Elvira is a perfect moulding of Bellini’s exquisite lines”- Vogue

“Vittorio Gui conducts with an ideal blend of gentleness and high spirits, warmth and dash. The RPO and the excellent Glyndebourne Chorus are in good form … as for Miss Sutherland’s performance as Elvira, it is a splendid justification of her nostalgia for the bad old palmy days of Italian opera.” – Spectator

Notes to Editors:
I Puritani

Opera seria in three acts

Music by Vincenzo Bellini, words by Carol Pepoli

Release date: November 2010

Total playing time: 134:06

Catalogue no: GFOCD 009-60

Retail Price: £24.99 (2 CDs)

Cast includes:
Bruno John Kentish

Elvira Joan Sutherland

Arturo Nicola Filacuridi

Giorgio Giuseppe Modesti

Riccardo Ernest Blanc

Valton David Ward

Enrichetta Monica Sinclair

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Glyndebourne Chorus

About Glyndebourne:

The Glyndebourne Festival was founded in 1934 by John Christie and his opera singer wife, Audrey Mildmay. They began with two Mozart operas, but the repertoire has expanded to include works from the baroque to the contemporary. New works premiered at Glyndebourne include two by Benjamin Britten, 13 new commissions on the main stage and over 20 more through the Education programme.

Crucially, Glyndebourne has remained financially independent since 1934. Although it receives valued Arts Council support for the Tour and some educational work, the Festival receives no public subsidy. Glyndebourne is a registered charity, funded by Box Office income, its members and supporters

Today the Festival runs from May to August with a programme of six operas in a world-class 1,200-seat opera house. Together with Glyndebourne on Tour it presents about 120 performances each year to a total audience of around 150,000. Its resident orchestras are the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Glyndebourne began the Tour in 1968 to bring opera to new audiences and create performance opportunities for young singers in the Glyndebourne Chorus As part of Glyndebourne’s commitment to developing new talent, the Chorus plays a vital role in discovering and training young singers.

As part of Glyndebourne’s mission to reach new audiences, it has maintained a widely respected Education programme since 1986. Glyndebourne also offers reduced-price tickets to under-30s for selected performances, and has pioneered using recordings to open-up its work to a worldwide audience through broadcasts, cinema screenings, DVDs and internet streaming.

Previous recordings on The Glyndebourne Label:

Le nozze di Figaro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Catalogue no. GFO CD 001-62
Retail Price £29.99 (3 CDs) Betrothal in a Monastery Sergei Prokofiev

Catalogue no. GFO CD 002-06
Retail Price £24.99 (2 CDs)
Pelléas et Mélisande Claude Debussy

Catalogue no. GFO CD 003 -63
Retail Price RRP £29.99 (3 CDs)
Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven

Catalogue no. GFO CD 004-06
Retail Price £24.99 (2 CDs)
L’elisir d’amore Donizetti

Catalogue no. GFO CD 005-62
Retail Price: RRP £24.99 (2 CDs)
Idomeneo Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Catalogue no. GFOCD 006-64
Retail Price £24.99 (2 CDs)
Rusalka Dvořák

Catalogue no. GFOCD 007-09
Retail Pric: £24.99 (3 CDs)
Peter Grimes Britten

Catalogue no. GFOCD 008-00
Retail Price £29.99 (3 CDs)
I Puritani Bellini

Catalogue no. GFOCD 009-60
Retail Price £24.99 (2 CDs)
Der Rosenkavalier Strauss

Catalogue no. GFOCD 0010-65
Retail Price £29.99 (3 CDs)
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Glyndebourne Press Contact:

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emma.menniss@glyndebourne.com Tel: 01273 812321