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documentary NEW: The Art of Singing I/II Golden Voices of the Century

Golden Voices of the Century

NEW: The Art of Singing I/II Golden Voices of the Century


The Art of Singing, a treasure trove of priceless archival footage narrated by actor Christopher Lee, takes you on a whirlwind tour to meet the greatest singers of the last century—through their golden voices in opera's most beloved masterpieces, and through their lively personalities off stage. Marvel at the arias you love by Handel, Rossini, Donizetti, and Wagner in the voices of legendary opera stars, who also open up in front of the camera, sharing reflections on their art and memories of their storied careers.

In this first volume, the power of the human voice tugs at our heartstrings through astonishing recordings like Mary Garden's mellifluous Mélisande (Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, 1904) and tenor Beniamino Gigli's interpretation sul fiato (on the breath) of the dramatic aria "Ombra mai fù" from Handel's Serse. In the opera world, the vocal capabilities as well as the characters are larger than life: watch the dazzling Giuseppe De Luca bring an air of mischief to "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's Barber of Seville, while Lawrence Tibbett plays the toreador from Bizet's Carmen with undeniable charisma, no less potent with the passage of time, on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.


  • Christopher Lee | Narrator
  • Roberto Alagna | Tenor
  • Beniamino Gigli | Tenor
  • Thomas Hampson | Baritone
  • Mary Garden | Soprano
  • Géraldine Farrar | Soprano
  • Enrico Caruso | Tenor
  • Francesco Daddi | Tenor
  • Antonio Scotti | Baritone
  • Marcella Sembrich | Soprano
  • Gina Severina | Contralto
  • Giovanni Martinelli | Tenor
  • Magda Olivero | Soprano
  • Tito Schipa | Tenor
  • Giuseppe De Luca | Baritone
  • Luisa Tetrazzini | Soprano
  • Rosa Ponselle | Soprano
  • Richard Tauber | Tenor
  • Feodor Chaliapin | Bass
  • Lily Pons | Soprano
  • Kirsten Flagstad | Soprano
  • Lawrence Tibbett | Baritone
  • Risë Stevens | Soprano
  • Lauritz Melchior | Tenor
  • Ezio Pinza | Bass


  • Pietro Mascagni, Cavalleria rusticana
    • "Addio alla Madre"
  • Richard Wagner, Siegfried, WWV 86C
    • I - Orchestral Prelude
  • Claude Debussy, Pelléas et Mélisande
    • III, 1: "Mes longs cheveux descendent"
  • Jules Massenet, Thaïs
  • Georges Bizet, Carmen
    • I: "Mais nous ne voyons pas la Carmencita" (Soldiers, Young men)
  • Ruggero Leoncavallo, Pagliacci
    • II: "Suvvia, così terribile"
    • I: "Recitar!" - "Vesti la giubba"
  • Gaetano Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor
    • II. "Chi mi frena in tal momento"
  • Giuseppe Verdi, Aida
    • II, 2: «Vieni, o guerriero vindice»
    • I,1: "Celeste Aïda"
  • Ernesto De Curtis / Giancarlo Chiaramello, Torna a Surriento
  • George Frideric Handel, Serse, HWV 40
    • I: "Ombra mai fu"
  • Friedrich, Martha
    • M'appari
  • Gioachino Rossini, Il barbiere di Siviglia
    • I, 2: Cavatina "Largo al factotum della città"
  • Friedrich, Martha
    • M'appari
  • Giacomo Puccini, La Bohème
    • II: "Quando m'en vo' soletta"
  • Georges Bizet, Carmen
    • I: "Quand je vous aimerai?" - "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Habanera) (Carmen, Chorus)
  • Franz Schubert, Schwanengesang, D. 957
    • Leise flehen meine Lieder
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Maid of Pskov
  • Heinrich Panofka, Tarantella
  • Richard Wagner, Die Walküre, WWV 86B
    • Ride of the Valkyries
  • Georges Bizet, Carmen
    • II: "Votre toast... je peux..." - "Toréador, en garde" (Escamillo, Pastia, Zuniga, Carmen, Chorus, Frasquita, Lilas Pastia, Dancaïre)
  • Camille Saint-Saëns, Samson and Delilah
    • "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" (Delilah)
  • Richard Wagner, Die Walküre, WWV 86B
    • Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
  • Modest Mussorgsky, Boris Godunov
    • Coronation Scene


  • Directed by:
    • Donald Sturrock
  • Production date: 1996
  • Duration: 57 min
  • Production: © IMG Artists / Idéale Audience
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