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Moore / LaTouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe


Moore / LaTouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe
zoom imageMoore / LaTouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe 

Moore / LaTouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe


Moore / LaTouche: The Ballad of Baby Doe
Price $33.98

Despite its somewhat Disneyesque title, The Ballad of Baby Doe is one of the sturdiest American operas. Its riches-to-rags story of Colorado miner Horace Tabor has a great plot, excellent characters, real arias, and dynamic chorus scenes, and none of it sounds second hand in the least. The opera has an extremely inviting personality of its own. This recording by the New York City Opera is full of crackling fast tempos from conductor Emerson Buckley and great theatricality: right down to the minor characters, everybody knows what they're about. Beverly Sills, Walter Cassel, and Frances Bible all inhabit their roles completely. The one drawback is the recording quality, which is good to voices but mushy on the orchestra. To know what's really going on in the piece musically, one must hear the similarly well-sung but more relaxed 1996 recording made at the venue where the opera was premiered: Central City Opera in Colorado. --David Patrick Stearns
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