What can I say, I have been hooked on live recordings of opera for almost my entire life. A live recording can capture the energy and magic of a performance in a way that a studio recording, no matter how technically advanced, cannot.
Accordingly, we go to great pains to make sure that we have found these performances in the best possible sound. We remaster all of our recordings to make sure that they are pitched correctly and devoid of clicks or other digital interference. If a recording doesn't meet our standards we will not release it. If a recording has flaws but is of high historical importance, we will disclose these flaws so that you can make an informed decision and avoid finding yourself with a recording that you find unlistenable.
We also provide audio samples for every recording that we have listed.
In addition, over the years our customers have left many reviews for that much needed second opinion.
The benefit to you is that you can partake of this wonderful and seemingly infinite resource of great public domain live performances without having to worry about coping with the many flaws and lack of production values that are all to common from sellers of live performances on the web.
OUR CDs:All of our CDs are created to order from a digital image of the master. This eliminates wear and tear and ensures that the CD you are receiving will be free of digital clicks and other flaws. If, however, you should receive a faulty disc, we will promptly send you a replacement. You don't even have to send the defective copy back (we are believers in the honor system.)
All of our CDs come in a vinyl sleeve with an insert that contains complete cast and track information when available.
We also enjoy filling out discs with bonus excerpts…
OUR MP3s:All of our MP3s are ripped at 256 kbps. We have found that this is the best rate to ensure excellent sound without creating files that are too large to conveniently transfer. All of our MP3s come in zipped folders (.zip extension) and are available to download on our checkout page. We also send an automatically generated email with the links if you are not at your computer when you purchase the recordings.
The files are stored on Amazon's AWS servers for safe and reliable transfer.
All MP3s contain the cast and track information in their ID3 tags as well as an image of the cover for easy navigation in iTunes, Windows Media player or whichever player you use.
In addition, we include a PDF of the cover so that you may print it out if you opt to burn the MP3s onto CDs for your collection.
We understand that if you are not used to downloading MP3s it can seem a little daunting at first. The good news is that it is actually quite simple and we have helped many over the years "go digital." We are always more than happy to help with any questions you might have.
About me:My name is Andrew Whitfield and I live in San Francisco, California. I first got interested in recordings of operas when I was in the 6th grade. At 15 I got my dream job which was in the classical music department at HMV in Cambridge, Massachusetts (I was affectionately dubbed "opera boy" by the department.) It was during that time that I discovered live performances as buyer for labels like Lyric Distribution and VAI. It opened a whole new world of performers that I would have never known otherwise like Anita Cerquetti, Elena Souliotis, Leonie Rysanek, Pauline Tinsley, Liane Synek and many other great, but underrepresented artists.
I later moved to New York City where I worked for Ed Rosen, of Lyric Distribution fame, for two years. Ed was a great mentor and has been very supportive.
In 2007, I opened Opera Depot. In the years since I have amassed a collection of nearly 1000 titles and have continued to hone my skills as recording engineer, designer and webmaster so that I can make these recordings available to the world at very reasonable prices.
Oh, and on the side I am conductor and chorus master at Opera San José, founded by the great Irene Dalis who has also been a wonderful mentor. But that's another story…