60 years ago, soprano Leontyne Price and tenor Franco Corelli made their joint debuts in Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera House. Critics and audience members alike showered the two with high praise and endless ovations. In later years Miss Price often spoke of her 42 minute ovation and countless curtain calls that evening.
With her gloriously spun top notes, which seem to hang in the air, and his virile and ringing High B-flats, audiences were sent into a frenzy whenever the two appeared together over the next decade.
Corelli’s final MET performance was as Calaf in Turandot in 1974, and Price retired in the role of Aida in a “Live From The MET” telecast in 1985.
Leontyne Price celebrates her 94th birthday today, Feb. 10. Listen to them at their debut on January 27, 1961 - ACT IV Miserere.
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