Ambrosian Singers

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The Ambrosian Singers are one of the best-known London choral groups, particularly appreciated for its great variety of recorded repertory.

They were founded after World War II in England. One of their co-founders was Denis Stevens (1922–2004), a British musicologist and viola player who joined the BBC Music Department in 1949 and developed programs of Renaissance and early Baroque music. The other was John McCarthy (1919–2009), a professional tenor soloist.

They organized and created the Ambrosian Singers as a small professional chorus in 1951. Ambrosian Singers has participated in numerous Christmas albums, appeared in albums with such pop and rock artists as Neil Diamond, Grace Jones, Julie Andrews, etc., and sung in several studio cast albums of Broadway musicals.

They have participated in various film soundtrack scores such as Brainstorm, Krull, Chariots of Fire, Children of the stones and The Secret of NIMH, and in some albums of Italian films: Film Scores of Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota (conducted by Henry Mancini, collections of Miklos Rozsa scores, and original scores from MGM classic musicals. They did the introduction vocals for the song "Inside" by Stiltskin in 1994.

Involvement in opera[edit]

Ambrosian Singers is also called Ambrosian Opera Chorus (or Ambrosian Chorus or Ambrosian Choir). The ensemble has made numerous recordings of full length operas under various noted conductors including Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Nello Santi, Julius Rudel, Georges Prêtre and many more. From 1961 to 1966, when McCarthy was a choral director of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Ambrosian Singers were known as the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus.[1]

Under various names (Ambrosian Singers, Ambrosian Opera Chorus, Ambrosian Chorus, Ambrosian Choir or London Symphony Orchestra Chorus), the ensemble has appeared in various type of recording albums with many renowned operatic singers such as recording recitals, sacred music, selected arias and complete operas with Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Kiri Te Kanawa, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and many more.

Selected operatic discography[edit]

Year Composer,
Opera
Cast Conductor,
Opera House and Orchestra
Label
1964 Bellini: Beatrice di Tenda Joan Sutherland,
Cornelius Opthof,
Luciano Pavarotti, et al.
Richard Bonynge,
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Decca
Cat:
1966 Rossini: Semiramide Joan Sutherland,
Marilyn Horne,
Joseph Rouleau, et al.
Richard Bonynge,
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Decca
Cat:
1966 Gounod: Faust Joan Sutherland,
Franco Corelli,
Nicolai Ghiaurov, et al.
Richard Bonynge,
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Decca
Cat:
1969 Verdi: La forza del destino Martina Arroyo,
Carlo Bergonzi,
Piero Cappuccilli, et al.
Lamberto Gardelli,
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: EMI
Cat:
Donizetti: Roberto Devereux Beverly Sills,
Róbert Ilosfalvy,
Peter Glossop,
Beverly Wolff
Charles Mackerras
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Westminster
Cat:
Verdi: Il trovatore Plácido Domingo,
Sherrill Milnes,
Leontyne Price, et al.
Zubin Mehta
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Chorus
Audio CD: RCA
Cat: 6194-2
Cat: 86194
1970 Verdi: Don Carlos Plácido Domingo,
Montserrat Caballé,
Sherill Milnes, et al.
Carlo Maria Giulini
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Ambrosian Chorus
Audio CD: Angel Records
Cat: 47701
Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore Joan Sutherland,
Luciano Pavarotti,
Spiro Malas, et al.
Richard Bonynge
English Chamber Orchestra
Ambrosian Chorus
Audio CD: Angel Records
Cat: 47701
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor Beverly Sills,
Carlo Bergonzi,
Piero Cappuccilli,
Justino Diaz
Thomas Schippers
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Westminster
Cat:
Massenet: Manon Beverly Sills,
Nicolai Gedda,
Gérard Souzay,
Gabriel Bacquier
Julius Rudel
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: EMI
Cat:
Deutsche Grammophon
Cat:
1971 Verdi: I Lombardi Plácido Domingo,
Cristina Deutekom,
Ruggero Raimondi, et al.
Lamberto Gardelli
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Philips
Cat: 422 420-2
Puccini: Manon Lescaut Montserrat Caballé,
Plácido Domingo,
Vincente Sardinero, et al.
Bruno Bartoletti (Studio)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: EMI Classic
Cat: 7 47736-8
Verdi: Rigoletto Luciano Pavarotti,
Sherrill Milnes,
Joan Sutherland, et al.
Richard Bonynge,
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Decca
Cat: 414-269-2
Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia Hermann Prey,
Teresa Berganza,
Luigi Alva,
Enzo Dara, Paolo Montarsolo
Claudio Abbado
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon
Cat:
1972 Bellini: Norma Plácido Domingo,
Montserrat Caballé,
Fiorenza Cossotto, et al.
Carlo Felice Cillario
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: RCA
Cat: 6502-2
Cat: 8650
Verdi: Atila Ruggero Raimondi,
Carlo Bergonzi,
Christina Deutekom, et al.
Lamberto Gardelli,
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Philips
Cat: 412-875-2
Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco Montserrat Caballé,
Plácido Domingo,
Sherrill Milnes, et al.
James Levine
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: EMI Classics
Cat: 63226-2
Angel Records
Cat: 63226
1973 Boito: Mefistofele Plácido Domingo,
Norman Treigle,
Montserrat Caballé, et al.
Julius Rudel (Studio)
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Angel
Cat: 49522
EMI
Cat: 49522-2
Bellini: I Puritani Beverly Sills,
Nicolai Gedda,
Louis Quilico,
Paul Plishka
Julius Rudel
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Westminster The Legacy
Cat: 471 207-2
1975 Massenet: La Navarraise Plácido Domingo,
Sherrill Milnes,
Marilyn Horne, et al.
Henry Lewis
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: RCA Victor
Cat: 50167
1976 Montemezzi: L'amore dei tre re Plácido Domingo,
Pablo Elvira,
Elizabeth Bainbridge, et al.
Nello Santi,
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: RCA
Cat: 50166
Charpentier: Louise Ileana Cotrubas,
Plácido Domingo,
Gabriel Bacquier, et al.
Georges Prêtre
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Sony Classical
Cat: 46429
Puccini: Il Trittico
(Il tabarro / Gianni Schicchi)
Plácido Domingo,
Renata Scotto,
Ileana Cotrubas, et al.
Lorin Maazel
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: CBS
Cat: 35912
Cat: 79312
Puccini: Tosca Plácido Domingo,
Raina Kabaivanska,
Sherrill Milnes, et al.
Bruno Bartoletti (Film)
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
DVD: Deutsche Grammophon
Cat: 00440 073 4038
1977 Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur Plácido Domingo,
Renata Scotto,
Sherrill Milnes, et al.
James Levine (Studio)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Sony Classical
Cat: 34588
CBS
Cat: 79310
Verdi: Otello Plácido Domingo,
Renata Scotto,
Sherrill Milnes, et al.
James Levine
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian singers
Audio CD: RCA
Cat: 2951
Cat: 82951-2
Bizet: Carmen Teresa Berganza,
Plácido Domingo,
Ileana Cotrubas, et al.
Claudio Abbado
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Singers
Audio CD: Deutsche Grammophon
Cat: 427 885-2
1978 Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana Plácido Domingo,
Pablo Elvira,
Renata Scotto, et al.
James Levine (Studio)
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: RCA
Cat: 83091
BMG Classics
Cat: 74321 39500 2
Brilliant Classics
Cat: 6251
Puccini: Madama Butterfly Plácido Domingo,
Renata Scotto,
Ingvar Wixell, et al.
Lorin Maazel (Studio)
London Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: CBS
Cat: 35181
Sony
Cat: 91135
Verdi: Nabucco Matteo Manuguerra,
Veriano Luchetti
Nicolai Ghiaurov
Renata Scotto,
Elena Obraztsova
Riccardo Muti
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: CBS,
Cat: 4564472
EMI
The Opera Series
Donizetti: Don Pasquale Beverly Sills,
Donald Gramm,
Alfredo Kraus,
Alan Titus
Sarah Caldwell
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: EMI
Cat:
1978 Massenet: Cendrillon Frederica von Stade,
Nicolai Gedda,
Ruth Welting,
Jane Berbié,
Jules Bastin
Julius Rudel
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Sony
Cat:
1979 Puccini: Le Villi Plácido Domingo,
Renata Scotto,
Leo Nucci, et al.
Lorin Maazel
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: CBS
Cat: 36669
Cat: 76890
1980 Puccini: Tosca Plácido Domingo,
Renato Bruson,
Renato Capecchi, et al.
James Levine (Studio)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD: Angel
Cat: 49364
EMI
Cat: 49364-2
1982 Puccini: La rondine Plácido Domingo,
Kiri Te Kanawa,
Leo Nucci, et al.
Lorin Maazel
London Symphony Orchestra
Ambrosian Chorus
Audio CD: CBS
Cat: M2K-37852
1987 Verdi: La forza del destino Rosalind Plowright,
José Carreras,
Renato Bruson, et al.
Giuseppe Sinopoli,
Philharmonia Orchestra
Ambrosian Opera Chorus
Audio CD:Deutsche Grammophon
Cat:

Note: "Cat:" is short for catalogue number by the label company.

References[edit]

External links[edit]