Peggy Glanville-Hicks: Nausicaa, scenes from the opera
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR695     Release Date: 2007-02-01
Spiro Malas, bass, "King Alcinous"; Edward Ruhl, tenor, "Phemius"; Teresa Stratas, soprano, "Nausicaa"; Michalis Heliotis, tenor, "Antinous"; Sophia Steffan, contralto, "Queen Arete"; John Modenos, baritone, "Aethon"; George Moutsios, tenor, "Eurymachus"; Vassilis Koundouris, baritone, "Messenger"; George Tsantikos, tenor, "Clytoneus" Athens Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Carlos Surinach, Conductor;


With the acclaimed production of her opera Nausicaa at the 1961 Athens Festival, Peggy Glanville-Hicks was placed firmly on the world stage as a composer for the theater. The opera had an American/Australian woman as composer, a text by an English writer living in Mallorca, and used a mixed cast of American-Greek soloists, a Greek chorus, an American director, a Greek designer and a Spanish conductor.

It received three performances at the Festival and was a major success in the international press. Variety wrote: "A ten minute ovation greeted the world premiere of Peggy Glanville-Hicks new opera Nausicaa in the ancient Theatre of Herod Atticus at the Acropolis in the heart of Athens. The cast of 150 won eight curtain calls from the capacity crowd of 4,800 which overflowed into the aisles."

"A palpable hit!" the composer gleefully informed her friends and colleagues, She later wrote:

"The idea of a Greco-American collaboration took shape, with soloists and directors coming from the U. S. to combine with the chorus and orchestra of Athens in a kind of Transatlantic Opera Company.”

"I have acquired over the years a vast experience in casting performers, and have always had an instinct concern­ing singers' potential, even when as yet untested.

"I cast twenty-two year-old Teresa Stratas (known only for small . spinto parts at the Met) in the taxing dramatic-lyric titles role; I cast John Modenos (not yet the Milan Prize-win­ner) as baritone lead opposite her; I chose Sophia Steffaii and Spiro Malas (not yet discovered by City Center) as King and Queen in a cast of six young Americans, all of Greek ancestry, thus overcoming the language problem inher­ent in the Athens projects, and at the same time, extending the Greco-American character of the work itself to the performing roster also."

Indeed, Nausicaa brought diva Teresa Stratas also to international promi­nence in her first created major role. CRI's recording, made soon after the premiere per­formances and with the original cast, did much to make the work well-known to American audiences at the time. It became a collector's item (for fans of Stratas as well as Glanville-Hicks) and happily is now available on the present disc.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

The Athens Symphony Orchestra and Chorus & Teresa Stratas

Peggy Glanville-Hicks: Nausicaa, scenes from the opera

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Prologue
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Act I, Scene I
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Interlude I
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Scene 3
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Act II, Scene 4
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Scene 5
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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Nausicaa: Scenes from The Opera - Act III
Peggy Glanville-Hicks
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