La fille du régiment
Joan Sutherland etc; Royal Opera House/Richard Bonynge
Decca 414 5202
Pavarotti plays the ebullient young peasant to perfection.
Joan Sutherland; Royal Opera House/Richard Bonynge
Decca 417 5882
Pavarotti subdues his extrovert energy to style and elegance, alongside a strong cast.
Edita Gruberova, Ingvar Wixell etc; Vienna Staatsoper/Riccardo Chailly
DG 073 4166
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s heavily stylized, ornate but often impressive cinematic account is dominated by Pavarotti with surprising sexual charge.
Mirella Freni etc; Deutsche Oper Berlin/Herbert von Karajan
Decca 421 0492
Freni and Pavarotti make meltingly believable young lovers.
Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé etc; John Alldis Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra/Zubin Mehta
Decca 414 2742
Pavarotti’s passionately perceptive, unforced Calaf matches Sutherland’s unlikely Ice Princess.
Frederica von Stade, Ileana Cotrubas etc; Metropolitan Opera/Levine
James Levine’s reading is traditional but not crushingly heavyweight, there is a high-powered cast, and Pavarotti is charismatic as the embattled king.
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.