Met Opera on Demand Catalog
(Jan. 28, 1978)
Composer: Jules Massenet
Librettist: Louis Gallet
Pritchard; Sills, Gibbs, Milnes
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus
Approximate running time: 2 hrs. 9 min.
Take one ascetic monk named Athanaël and one ravishingly beautiful courtesan named Thaïs, add Massenet’s sensual, melodious music, with equal dashes of eroticism and religious fervor—and you have a powerful opera that is at once a celebration of the sacred and the profane, of flesh and soul. This rarity had not been heard at the Met for almost 40 years when it was brought back as a vehicle for the great soprano Beverly Sills and the magnetic singing actor Sherrill Milnes. Together, they masterfully bring to life the searing conflict at the heart of the drama.