Free Opera on Archive.org

Once upon a time, Mr. Edison had a recording company. Then Mr. Edison left the rights to his company’s recordings to the National Park Service, and they put those recordings into the public domain. So go over to archive. org’s oldtime section and enjoy!

Cilea:
“Io son l’umile ancella” from Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea. Sung by Claudia Muzio. 1921.

Handel:
“Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah by Handel. 1916.
Excerpt from Israel in Egypt by Handel. 1888. (The earliest known recorded music in existence.)

Herbert:
“Star Light, Star Bright” from Wizard of the Nile by Victor Herbert. Sung by J.W. Myers. 1896.

Leoncavallo:
“Mattinata” by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the first song composed especially for the gramophone. Sung by Caruso and accompanied by Leoncavallo.

Meyerbeer:
“Gnadigenarie” from Robert le Diable by Giacomo Meyerbeer. Sung by Frau Emilie Herzog. 1902.

Mozart:
“Serenade” from Don Giovanni by Mozart. Sung by Edouard de Reszke. 1903.

Ponchielli:
Duet (“Ah! o cuor, dono funesto”?) from La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli. Sung by Paola Koraleck and Preste Benedetti. 1911.

Puccini:
“Vissi d’arte” from Tosca by Puccini. Sung by Adelina Agostinelli. 1913.

“Sono un poeta” from La Boheme by Puccini. Sung by Florencio Constantino. 1908.

(Constantino died in a hospital for the destitute in Mexico City, after apparently having drunk and quarrelled his way out of a career. Great voice in these recordings, though.)

Tchaikovsky:
“Sei forse l’angelo fedele” from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky, out of Pushkin. Sung by Claudia Muzio (in Italian, not Russian). 1920.

Verdi:
“Ah! fors’ e lui” from La Traviata by Verdi. Sung by Lucrezia Bori. 1910.

“Ah, Si Ben Mio” from Il Trovatore by Verdi. Sung by R. Martin. 1912.

“Caro Nome” from Rigoletto by Verdi. Sung by Selma Kurz. 1912.

“Celeste Aida” from Aida by Verdi. Sung by Florencio Constantino. 1911.

“Niun Mi Tema” from Othello by Verdi. Sung by Francesco Tamagno. 1905.

“Quand’ero Paggio” from Falstaff by Verdi. Sung by Victor Maurel. 1907.

Von Flatow:
“M’appari”
from Martha by Friedrich von Flatow. Sung by Alessandro Bonci. 1914.

Wagner:
“Hochstes vertrauen” from Lohengrin by Wagner. Sung by Heinrich Knote.

Misc:
“Du Susse” from the operetta Schuetzenliesl. Sung by Ludwig Arno. 1908.

“Over There” Song by George M. Cohan. Sung by Enrico Caruso in English and French.

“Tu non mi vuoi piu bene” Song by Antonio Pini-Corsi. Sung by Enrico Caruso.

“The Last Rose of Summer” Song by Thomas Moore. Sung by Adelina Patti. 1905.

Instrumentals:
“Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walkure by Wagner. Performed by the American Symphony Orchestra. 1921.

“William Tell Overture” (part 2) from William Tell by Rossini. Performed by Sodero’s Band.

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