Operatic Mad Scenes

May 27, 2017, 4:30 pm

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So-called “mad scenes” have been long been a staple of opera , and were especially so during the bel canto era of Donizetti and Bellini. Larry offers two later examples. Natalie Dessay sings Ophelia’s mad scene from Hamlet and Philip Langridge descends into madness as the title character in Peter Grimes.



Thomas Hamlet Mad Scene: “A vos jeux mes amis”
Natalie Dessay with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo
Conducted by Patrick Fournillier
Recorded in Monte Carlo in 1996
EMI 7243 5 56159 2 3

Britten: Peter Grimes Act III, Scene 2 “Grimes!”
Philip Langridge, Janice Watson and Alan Opie
The London Symphony Chorus and the City of London Sinfonia
Conducted by Richard Hickox
Recorded in Blackheath in 1995