Massenet: Le Roi de Lahore - Sutherland, Stevens, Morris, Opthof; Bonynge. Vancouver, 1977
Listen to a Sample:
Richard Bonynge’s greatest contribution to music, besides his collaborations with Joan Sutherland, may be his championing of obscure repertoire that would provide ample opportunity for Sutherland to show her skill. Le Roi de Lahore is a prime example, a grander-than-grand French opera with a sterling role for Sutherland, who is in excellent voice as the conflicted priestess Sita. Bonynge lavishes attention over a slightly-trimmed edition of the score, especially in the fantasy after-life sequence of Act III. Ronald Stevens’ bright, supple instrument is well suited to the role of Alim, and a young James Morris wields his powerful bass authoritatively as the priest Timour. Cornelius Opthof uses his rather rough-cast baritone to its best advantage as the villainous Scindia, and there are fine cameo turns from Spiro Malas and Huguette Tourangeau. The sound is a little distant but clear.