Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Keene;Basil Langton, producer; Jose Limon, choreographer.
Mirna Lacambra, John Wakefield, Theodor Uppman, Frederica von Stade, Elaine Bonazz
See the complete listing of artists at the Santa Fe Opera's website.
No frills: 2 CDs from the House of Opera:
Normally the discs that show up here are from commercial companies, available from the usual online sources such as Amazon.com. There's been no commercial recording of Yerma, though, so we have to make do with this overheard recording of the groundbreaking production by Santa Fe Opera on August 12, 1971.
The sound is not great, but the singing is excellent. This is pretty much your only chance to hear this important work by Villa-Lobos. I believe that this work, with its strong libretto (from the play by Garcia Lorca) and impressive music, deserves at least an occasional hearing on the world's operatic stages.
Lisa Peppercorn discusses the Santa Fe production in some detail in her article "Villa-Lobos's Stage Works", Revue belge de Musicologie / Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Muziekwetenschap, Vol. 36, (1982 - 1984), pp. 175-184. It's a fascinating story. Peppercorn quotes the producer Basil Langton:
"...the work appeals to the audience, juding from the heavy applause... another advantage is its relatively easy staging without scenic changes. This may well help the opera to be respresented in other places as well." (p. 183)
Time Magazine's review of the Santa Fe production praised the work and the performances, but not the staging.
The two-CD set is available from the House of Opera for a song: it's on sale for $10. Every true Villa-Lobos fan needs to buy this! I received my discs within a couple of weeks of ordering.