The Met in Motion

Maria Callas

Callas recorded Lucia di Lammermoor twice, in 1953 and again in 1959. In her 1953 recording (, her cadenza is lengthy, florid, and quite similar to that of Melba or Pons. When it came time to record her second Lucia, Callas wanted to shorten the cadenza, but feared that to do so would be seen as evidence that she no longer had the skills to perform the Melba-standard coloratura. Her compromise, as you can hear, is to sing the traditional cadenza, but shortened significantly.

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