Stephanie Blythe: Grand Verdi to Intimate Songbook Standards

Audio not yet available
Email a Friend

In a big break that was truly operatic, Stephanie Blythe debuted in the role of Mistress Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff when Marilyn Horne suddenly had to drop out of the Metropolitan Opera's production in 1996. Horne had learned that Henry Lewis – her former husband, and lifelong friend and mentor – had just died of a heart attack at age 63.

On this edition of Operavore, Blythe talks with Horne about that pivotal moment, and about her career path in the years since.

Blythe is reprising the role of the wily Mistress Quickly this month at the Met. She talks about that, about her other signature roles including Fricka in Wagner's Ring, and about her new crossover album, "As Long As There Are Songs." It features songs by Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and other American Songbook composers.


Also: It’s the holiday season and that means parties. Get two or more opera lovers together, and that means party records. Do you have a favorite? A stunning performance or something really offbeat? Leave your comments below and we’ll close out the year with your picks and an operatic New Year’s party on December 28.

 

Playlist:

Giuseppe Verdi
Falstaff Act III, Sc. 1: “Amor ama il mistero”
Bavarian Radio Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, conductor
Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano
BMG 09026-60705-2
 
Giuseppe Verdi
Falstaff Act III, Sc. 1: “Amor ama il mistero”
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera | April 6, 2002
 
George Frideric Handel
Giulio Cesare, HWV 17: “Al lampo dell' armi”
Ensemble Orchestral de Paris        
John Nelson, conductor
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Virgin Classics 45475
 
Irving Berlin
“God Bless America”
Kate Smith
Orchestra and Chorus directed by Jack Miller
Smithsonian Collection Recordings
American Songbook Series: Irving Berlin
A 22403 | Recorded March 21, 1939
 
Richard Wagner
Das Rheingold excerpt from Act III, Sc. 2
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Fabio Luisi, conductor
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera | April 26, 2012
 
Ira Gershwin/Harold Arlen
A Star is Born “The Man that Got Away”
(arr. S. Blythe and C. Terry)
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Craig Terry, piano
Innova Records #875