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Luisa Miller 

A wealthy youth, betrothed to a duchess, falls in love with a country girl - Luisa Miller. To remain incognito he disguises himself. The girl betrays her lover, so he tricks her and they drink poison, and then die together.


Kirk Browning


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Episode credited cast:
Renata Scotto Renata Scotto ... Luisa
Plácido Domingo ... Rodolfo
Sherrill Milnes Sherrill Milnes ... Miller
Bonaldo Giaiotti Bonaldo Giaiotti ... Count Walter
James Morris James Morris ... Wurm
Jean Kraft Jean Kraft ... Federica
Ariel Bybee Ariel Bybee ... Laura
Dale Caldwell Dale Caldwell ... Peasant
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Levine James Levine ... Himself - Conducted by
Metropolitan Opera Chorus Metropolitan Opera Chorus ... Peasants


A wealthy youth, betrothed to a duchess, falls in love with a country girl - Luisa Miller. To remain incognito he disguises himself. The girl betrays her lover, so he tricks her and they drink poison, and then die together.

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Release Date:

20 January 1979 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Metropolitan Opera See more »
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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A real operatic treasure
28 May 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

For the longest time I have been a fan of Verdi's operas. I just love the stories, the characters and especially the music, and when you have such talented performers performing the work of such an amazing composer it is just a wonderful experience. Now I had been acquainted with La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Aida, Don Carlo and Otello for years, but like Ernani I hadn't heard much about Luisa Miller other than the basic story outline.

Hearing Luisa Miller, I was very impressed. The story, with the love story revolving around the several conflicts going on around the time, isn't the most compelling of Verdi's operas but it did draw me in, and the moving, dramatic and intense final scene is especially riveting. The music, as to be expected of Verdi is amazing, challenging because of the tessitura(s) particularly in the second scene duet between Federica and Rodolfo and what the roles demand but when you hear the likes of Ah fu Giusto and Quando Le sere Al Placido you know a master is at work.

I saw two productions soon after of this opera, the 1988 production with June Anderson and Paul Plishka and this 1979 live telecast. The latter is the one I just prefer, the 1988 production was very good too but when I saw that a wonderful conductor and three of my favourite singers were doing it I knew I was in for a magical experience. And that was exactly what it was.

Helped hugely by Nathaniel Merrill's inspired direction and James Levine's superb conducting, this Luisa Miller is a real operatic treasure. And on a side note, I recommend seeing the 1979 interview with Levine, Scotto, Domingo and Milnes, it is an interview that is interesting, insightful and sometimes funny(ie. Domingo pretending to forget the words to his own aria).

The sets are very fine and don't take you out of the time period, likewise with the costumes. The final scene is what the music promises, very moving and quite intense. The ensemble at the end Act 1 is also unbelievable. And all this is not possible with such superb performances from the entire cast. Bonaldo Gaiotti is a very good and characteristically commanding Count Di Walter, Jean Kraft does all of what she can with Countess Federica considering that character is the least interesting character I feel of the opera and a young James Morris is suitably evil as Wurm. Renata Scotto is riveting in presence particularly in the final scene where she is heart-breaking, shows an even and vast range and even with some slight shrillness here and there has high notes that are enough to split the stage in half, an effect I personally love, while Placido Domingo proves himself an outstanding actor and vocally he is at his peak. I didn't care very much for his blond hair here though. In regards to Sherrill Milnes, he proves here why this role gained him international fame, his Ah fu Giusto is quintessential Milnes while I just love his sincere facial expressions, and his duet with Scotto in the final act is brilliantly done not just with him but also Scotto and the orchestra too.

In conclusion, Luisa Miller is a great opera and this telecast is perfect for those who wish to be introduced to this or to these great artists. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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