James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met (DVD & CD box sets)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

As the opera fanatic on your list knows, the Metropolitan Opera loves anniversaries and it loves its James Levine. This year the company marked his 40th year working at the Met with James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met, two boxed sets, one on video and another on audio drawn from radio and TV transmissions, each with 11 live operas. 

The sets aren't cheap, at $200 for the CD set, $300 for the DVDs. But at $27 an opera, the collection showcases the greatest singers of our time -- Teresa Stratas, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Tatiana Troyanos, Hildegard Behrens and Sherrill Milnes -- at the peaks of their careers. What's more, the sets offer a chance to hear some infrequently performed works including Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, and three early-'80s concert performances.

James Levine: Celebrating 40 Years at the Met. DVD box set: 12 operas, 21 DVDs; CD box set: 11 operas, 32 CDs
Available at Amazon.com or the Met Opera Shop

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