Here's news about high-definition video disc ("HDVD") recordings of opera, ballet, classical music, plays, performance art, and paintings. We've got hard-to-find critical reports on hundreds of HDVDs. Pick the best titles for your excelsisphere.
April 19, 2019. We recently added 4 new titles that have been announced. On our new home page you will see the beginnings of the most recent 26 stories about various titles. You reach the rest of the archives by using the Alphalist or our search tool. One problem is that the search tool doesn’t recognize all those tricky diacritical marks that we encounter in many languages. So if your search has unusual diacritical marks, try to figure out a search without the unusual marks.
It’s been about 10 years since we started this website. Since then, We screened more than 1400 Blu-ray titles of fine-arts recordings that might meet our standards for hi-fi sound and HD video. We excluded over 20% of these titles as impostors mostly for (1) legacy material of poor artistic quality, (2) obsolete sound, and/or (3) video resolution too poor to benefit from modern TV displays. Our screening left about 1100 individual purchasable packages on our Alphalist. We believe this is the only comprehensive public list anywhere that is limited to high-quality fine-arts Blu-ray video titles.
La Fresque dance production. Music by Nicolas Godin with the collaboration of Vincent Taurelle for some sections. Choreographed and directed by Angelin Preljocaj. Based on a traditional Chinese folk tale. Recorded 2017 at the Théâtre de la Criée, Marseille, France. Stars dancers from Ballet Preljocaj. Set designs and videos by Constance Guisset Studio; lighting design by Éric Soyer; general manager was Nicole Said; produced by Antoine Perset and Denis Molière; directed for video by François-René Martin. Released 2019, disc has 24/48 PCM stereo sound. Grade: NA
Mahler Symphony No. 2"Resurrection." Also includes a performance of Zimmerman’s Trumpet Concerto “Nobody Knows De Trouble I See.” Andris Nelsons conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Features soloists Ekaterina Gubanova (contralto), Lucy Crowe (soprano), and Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet). Released 2019. Grade: NA
Verdi Atilla opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed 2016 by Daniele Abbado at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Stars Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Attila), Simone Piazzola (Ezio), Maria José Siri (Odabella), Fabio Sartori (Foresto), Gianluca Floris (Uldino), and Antonio Di Matteo (Leone). Michele Mariotti conducts the Orquesta del Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Chorus Master Andrea Faidutti). Set and lighting design by Gianni Carluccio; costumes by Gianni Carluccio and Daniela Cernigliaro; choreography by Simone Bucci; assistant stage direction by Boris Stetka; assistant stage design by Sebastiana Di Gesù; directed for video by Arnalda Canali. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Verdi Don Carlo opera to a libretto by Camille du Locle and Joseph Méry. Directed 2013 by Peter Stein at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Matti Salminen (Flilppo II), Jonas Kaufmann (Don Carlo), Thomas Hampson (Rodrigo/Marchese di Posa), Anja Harteros (Elisabetta di Valois), Ekaterina Semenchuk (La Principessa Eboli), Eric Halfvarson (Il Grande Inquisitore), Robert Lloyd (Un frate/Carlo V), Maria Celeng (Tebaldo), Kiandra Howarth (Una voce dal cielo), Benjamin Bernheim (Il Conte di Lerma/Un Araldo reale), Antonio di Matteo, Peter Kellner, Domen Križaj, Roberto Lorenzi, Iurii Samoilov, Christoph Seidl (Sei deputati fiamminghi), Oleg Savran (Un boscaiolo), and Anna-Eva Köck (La Contessa D’Aremberg). Antonio Pappano conducts the Vienna Philharmonic and the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus (Chorus Master Jörn Hinnerk Andresen). Stage music by Members of the Angelika-Prokopp-Sommerakademie der Wiener Philharmoniker. Set design by Ferdinand Wögerbauer; costume design by Annamaria Heinreich; lighting design by Joachim Barth; choreography by Lia Tsolaki; directed for TV by Agnes Méth. Released 2014, disc has dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A-
Carl Orff Carmina Burana cantata and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 concert. Recorded October 10, 2018 at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in the Forbidden City, Beijing. Features soloists Aida Garifullina (soprano), Toby Spence (tenor), Ludovic Tézier (baritone), Daniil Trifonov (piano), and Mari Samuelsen (violin). Long Yu conducts the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir, and the Wiener Singakademie (Chorus Master Heinz Ferlesch). Disc contains the following works:
Carl Orff Carmina Burana (soloists Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence, and Ludovic Tézier)
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 (Daniil Trifonov)
Max Richter November (Mari Samuelsen)
Tianhua Liu Enchanted Night
Jasmine Flower, a traditional Chinese folk song.
Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: C+
Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier opera to libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Directed 2017 by Robert Carsen at the The Met. Stars Elīna Garanča (Octavian), Renée Fleming (Marschallin), Billy Conahan (Mohammed), Günther Groissböck (Baron Ochs), Scott Scully (Major-domo), Marco Jordão, Ross Benoliel, Clark Smith, Edward Hanlon (Lackeys), Sidney Fortner (Noble widow), Maria D'Amato, Christina Thomson Anderson, Rosalie Sullivan (Three noble orphans), Anne Nonemacher (A milliner), Dustin Lucas (An animal vendor), James Countney (Notary), Alan Oke (Valzacchi), Helene Scheiderman (Annina), Tom Watson (Hairdresser), Matthew Polonzani (An Italian singer), Patrick Stoffer (Leopold), Markus Brück (Herr von Faninal), Erin Morley (Sophie), Susan Neves (Marianne),Mark Schowalter (Faninal's major-domo), Frank Colardo (Doctor), Tony Stevenson (Innkeeper), Brian Frutiger, Bradley Garvin, Brian Kontes, Christopher Job (Waiters), and Scott Conner (Police Commissioner). Sebastian Weigle conducts the The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Le Corsaire ballet. Choreographed by Manuel Legris to a libretto by Manuel Legris and Jean-François Vazelle. Music by Adolphe Adam. Staged 2016 at the Wiener Staatsoper. Stars Robert Gabdullin (Conrad), Maria Yakovleva (Médora), Liudmila Konovalova (Gulnare), Kirill Kourlaev (Lanquedem), Davide Dato (Birbanto), Alice Firenze (Zulméa), Mihail Sosnovschi (Seyd Pasha), Natascha Mair, Nina Tonoli and Prisca Zeisel (Odalisques) as well as dancers from the Wiener Staatsballet and the Balletakademie der Wiener Staatsoper. Valery Ovsianikov conducts the Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper. Set and costume design by Luisa Spinatelli; lighting design by Marion Hewlett; choreographic assistance by Albert Mirzoyan. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A
The show opens with our bodacious boatload of buccaneers beating across the boisterous billows boldly breaching beaches boasting beautiful bimbos. Wherever these pirates venture, wild adventures await:
Swan Lake ballet. Music by Tchaikovsky. Choreography by Liam Scarlett after Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa with additonal choreography by Frederick Ashton. Directed 2018 by Liam Scarlett at the Royal Opera House. Stars Marianela Nuñez (Odette/Odile), Vadim Muntagirov (Prince Siegfried), Elizabeth McGorian (The Queen), Bennet Gartside (Von Rothbart), Alexander Campbell (Benno), Akane Takade and Francesca Hayward (Prince Siegfried’s Younger Sisters). Koen Kessels conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. White Swan solo by Concert Master Ania Safonova; Black Swan solo by Concert Master Peter Swan. Designs by John Macfarlane; lighting by David Finn. Directed for TV by Ross MacGibbon. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
This will be the 3rd Swan Lake in Blu-ray published by the Royal Opera Ballet and Opus Arte. It appears they have finally discarded the ancient, horribly outdated Yolanda Sonnabend Farbregé-inspired sets and updated the costumes and choreography, etc. And finally, the indefatigable Marianela Nuñez gets the lead role. She may become the first star ballerina whose entire career has been well published in Blu-ray titles. The official clip below looks promising!
2018 New Year's Concert a/k/a Silversterkonzert by the Berliner Philharmoniker. Daniel Barenboim conducts and is piano soloist at the Berlin Philharmonie. Here is the program:
Mozart Piano Concerto No. 26 “Coronation”
Ravel Rapsodie espagnole
Ravel Alborada del gracioso
Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Bizet Carmen Suite No. 1 (excerpts)
We only cover gala and New Year’s concerts if the program is substantial (not just pops, marches, polkas, and waltzes). This program is attractive, and we are also encouraged in that the sound file was recorded with 96kHz/24 bit sound sampling. Directed for TV by Torben Jacobsen. The official video trailer below has several nice whole-orchestra and multi-section shots that suggest that Jacobsen has tried to reduce the amount of DVDitis in his video content. Released 2019, the disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
The Art of Ohad Naharin dance double bill. Choreography by Ohad Naharin. Performed 2014 and 2017 by the Batsheva Dance Company on the same stage at the Chaillot-Théâtre national de la Danse in Paris. Grade:A. Disc includes:
1. Naharin’s Virus from 2001 and revived 2014. Restaged and directed by Luc Jacobs. Dancers: William Barry, Omri Drumlevich, Bret Easterling, Iyar Elezra, Rani Ledzelter, Eri Nakamura, Rachael Osborne, Shamel Pitts, Oscar Ramos, Nitzan Ressler, Ian Robinson, Or Meir Schraiber, Maayan Sheinfeld, Bobbi Jene Smith, Zina (Natalia) Zinchenko, and Adi Zlatin. Original music by Karni Postel with additional music from Samuel Barber (Adagio performed by Kronos Quartet), Carlos D`Allessio (Les bulles), P. Stokes & P. Parsons (I want performed by Breakbeat Massive), and traditional Arab folk music by Al Majad group.
Handel Saul opera to libretto by Charles Jennens. Directed 2015 by Barrie Kosky at the Glyndebourne Opera House. Stars Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (Abner/High Priest/Amalekite/Doeg), and John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor). Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Leader Alison Bury) and The Glyndebourne Chorus (Chorus Master Jeremy Bines). Designs by Katrin Lea Tag; choreographed by Otto Pichler; lighting by Joachim Klein. Directed for TV by François Roussillon; produced by George Bruell. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+
Coppélia classic ballet to music by Léo Delibes. Libretto by Charles Nuitter and Arthur Saint-Léon after E.T.A. Hoffmann. Choreography by Sergey Vikharev after Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti. Performed 2018 at the Bolshoi Theater. Stars Margarita Shrayner (Swanilda), Artem Ovcharenko (Frantz), Alexey Loparevich (Coppélius), Xenia Averina, Daria Bochkova, Bruna Cantanhede Gaglianone, Antonina Chapkina, Anastasia Denisova, Elizaveta Kruteleva, Svetlana Pavlova, and Yulia Skvortsova (Eight friends); Nadezhda Blagova (Coppélia [Automaton]), Alexander Fadeyechev (Lord of Manor), Yuri Ostrovsky (Burgomaster), Nikolay Mayorov (Chronos), Oksana Sharova, Alexander Vodopetov, Ekaterina Besedina, and Dmitry Ekaterinin (Mazurka), Kristina Karasyova and Vitali Biktimirov (Czardasz), Anastasia Denisova (Aurora), Antonina Chapkina (Prayer), Daria Bochkova, Ksenia Averina, Maria Mishina, Stanislava Postnova, and Tatiana Tiliguzova (Work), and Elizaveta Kruteleva (Folly). Pavel Sorokin conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Bolshoi Theater. Scenography by Boris Kaminsky; costumes by Tatiana Noginova; lighting design by Damir Ismagilov; archive research and coordination by Pavel Gershenzon; choreography revivial by Vladimir Grigoriev. Directed for TV by Isabel Julien. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Kenneth MacMillan's Manon ballet performed 2015 at the Royal Opera House. Music consists of excerpts from the works Jules Massenet arranged and orchestrated by Martin Yates, as originally compiled by Leighton Lucas with the collaboration of Hilda Gaunt. Choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan; staged by Julie LIncoln and Christopher Saunders. Stars Sarah Lamb (Manon), Vadim Muntagirov (Des Grieux), Ryoichi Hirano (Lescaut), Gary Avis (Monsieur G.M.), Itziar Mendizabal (Lescaut’s Mistress), Kristen McNally (Madame), Thomas Whitehead (The Gaoler), James Hay (Beggar Chief), and Artists of The Royal Ballet. Martin Yates conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Concert Master Vasko Vassilev). Designs by Nicholas Georgiadis; lighting design by John B. Read; directed for the screen by Ross MacGibbon. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Carl Maria von Weber Der Freischütz opera to libretto by Friedrich Kind. Directed 2017 by Matthias Hartmann at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Michael Kraus (Ottokar), Frank van Hove (Kuno/Samiel’s Voice), Julia Kleiter (Agathe), Eva Liebau (Ännchen), Günther Groissböck (Kaspar), Michael König (Max), Stephen Milling (A Hermit), and Till von Orlowsky (Kilian). Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Coro e orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni). Set design by Raimund Orfeo Voigt; costume design by Susanne Bisovsky and Josef Gerger; lighting design by Marco Filibeck; dramaturgy by Michael Küster. Released 2019, music was recorded with 48kHz/24-bit sound sampling and disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Le coq d’or (The Golden Cockerel) opera to a libretto by Vladimir Bel’sky. Staged 2002 by Ennosuke Ichikawa at the Théâtre Musical de Paris - Châtelet. Stars Albert Schagidullin (King Dodon), Ilya Levinsky (Prince Guldon), Andrei Breus (Prince Afron), Ilya Bannik (General Polkan), Elena Manistina (Amelfa), Barry Banks (Astrologer), Olga Trifonova (Queen of Shemakha), and Yuri Maria Saenz (Golden Cockerel). Kent Nagano conducts the Orchestre de Paris and the Chorus of The Mariinsky Theatre (Arndrei Petrenko Chorus Master). Stage direction by Isao Takashima with assistant Nobuo Ichikawa; set design by Setsu Asakura with assistant Yasue Itod; costumes by Tomio Mohni; make-up by Suzanne Pisteur; lighting by Jean Kalman; choreography by Kanshino Fujima with assistant Sakon Fujima. Sung in Russian with subtitles in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Directed for TV by Thomas Grimm. Released in 2012, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A-
Rossini Le comte Ory opera to libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson. Directed 2011 by Bartlett Sher at the Met. Stars Juan Diego Flórez (Le Comte Ory), Diana Damrau (La Comtesse Adèle), Joyce DiDonato (Isolier), Susanne Resmark (Ragonde), Michele Pertusi (Tutor), Stéphane Degout (Raimbaud), Monica Yunus (Alice), Tony Stevenson (Courtier), and Tyler Simpson (Courtier). Maurizio Benini conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera (Chorus Master Donald Palumbo). Sets designed by Michael Yeargan; costume design by Catherine Zuber; lighting design by Brian MacDevitt; music produced by Jay David Saks; directed for video by Gary Halvorson. Supervising Producers Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park. Producers Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A
Giselle ballet. Choreographed and directed by Akram Khan. Modern musical composition and sound design by Vincenzo Lamagna after themes from Adolphe Adam. Staged 2018 at the English National Ballet. Stars Tamara Rojo (Giselle), James Streeter (Albrecht), Jeffrey Cirio (Hilarion), Stina Quagebeur (Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis), Begoña Cao (Bathilde), and Fabian Reimair (Landlord). Gavin Sutherland directs the English National Ballet Philharmonic. Visual and costume design by Tim Yip; orchestration by Gavin Sutherland; lighting design by Mark Henderson; dramaturgy by Ruth Little; assistant choreography by Andrej Petrović; rehearsal direction by Mavin Khoo; sound design by Yvonne Gilbert. Directed for TV by Ross MacGibbon. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Rossini Le comte Ory opera to libretto by Eugène Scribe and Charles-Gaspard Delestre-Poirson. Directed 2017 by Denis Podalydès at the Opéra Comique. Stars Philippe Talbot (Le Comte Ory), Julie Fuchs (La Comtesse), Gaëlle Arquez (Isolier), Éve-Maud Hubeaux (Dame Ragonde), Patrick Bolleire (Le Gourverneur), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Raimbaud), Jodie Devos (Alice), and Laurent Podalydès and Léo Reynaud (Actors). Louis Langrée conducts the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées and Choir Les éléments (Chorus Master Joël Suhubiette). Set design by Éric Ruf; costume design by Christian Lacroix; lighting design by Stéphanie Daniel; choreography by Cécile Bon; assistant stage direction by Laurent Delvert and Laurent Podalydès. Directed for TV by Vincent Massip. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Bellini I Puritani opera to libretto by Carlo Pepoli. Directed 2018 by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. Stars Roland Bracht (Lord Gualtiero Valton), Adam Palka (Sir Giorgio Valton), Ana Durlovski (Elvira), Réne Barbera (Lord Arturo Talbo), Gezim Myshketa (Sir Riccardo Forth), and Heinz Göhrig (Sir Bruno Robertson). Manlio Benzi conducts the Staatsorchester Stuttgart and the Staatsopernchor Stuttgart (Chorus Master Christoph Heil). Dramaturgy by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito; set and costume design by Anna Viebrock; lighting design by Reinhard Traub; video direction by Marcus Richardt. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Emmanuel Chabrier L’Étoile opera to libretto by Eugène Leterrier and Albert Vanloo. Directed 2014 by Laurent Pelly at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Stars Stéphanie d’Oustrac (Lazuli), Christophe Mortagne (Le Roi Ouf I), Hélène Guilmette (La Princesse Laoula), Jérôme Varnier (Siroco), Elliot Madore (Hérisson de Porc-Épic), Julie Boulianne (Aloès), François Piolino (Tapioca), François Soons (Patacha), Harry Teeuwen (Zalzal), Jeroen van Glabbeek (Le Maître), and Richard Prada (Le Chef de la Police). Patrick Fournillier conducts the Residentie Orkest The Hague and the Chorus of the Dutch National Opera (Chorus Master Nicholas Jenkins). Set design by Chantel Thomas; costume design by Laurent Pelly in collaboration with Jean-Jacques Delmotte; lighting design by Joël Adam; dialogue adaptation and dramaturgy by Agathe Mélinand. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
The “étoile” or “star” here is not a character in the opera but one of those shining in the firmament, which is linked by the bogus astrologer Siroco to the fates of a preposterous King and the lumpenprolateriat street peddler Lazuli (Stéphanie d’Oustrac in trousers). Confused? You will be even more so when you learn that both the King and the peddler are in love with the same Princess Laoula, etc.
Alban Berg Wozzeck opera to libretto by the composer (as inspired by the play Woyzeck by Georg Büchner). Directed 2015 by Andreas Homoki at the Opernhaus Zürich. Stars Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck), Brandon Jovanovich (Drum Major), Mauro Peter (Andres), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Captain), Lars Woldt (Doctor), Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie), Pavel Daniluk (First Apprentice), Cheyne Davidson (Second Apprentice), Martin Zysset (Madman), Irène Friedli (Margret), and Alessandro Reinhart (Marie’s Child). Fabio Luisi conducts the Philharmonia Zürich and the Chor der Oper Zürich (Chorus Master Jürg Hämmerli). Set and costume design by Michael Levine; costume assistance by Meta Bronski; lighting design by Franck Evin; dramaturgy by Kathrin Brunner. Directed for TV by Michael Beyer; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+
Georg Büchner died in 1837 when he was only 24! He was a member of the Young Germany movement and an active revolutionary who literally risked his neck and had to flee arrest by the secret police. He had published several well-regarded Sturm und Drang plays and a novella. He was a contemporary of Heinrich Heine; Nietszche was born about 7 years later. Büchner left behind 4 batches of barely legible fragments of a play called Woyzeck.
Handel Theodora oratorio to libretto by Thomas Morell. Directed 2009 by Christof Loy at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Christine Schäfer (Theodora), Bejun Mehta (Didymus), Joseph Kaiser (Septimius), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Valens), Bernarda Fink (Irene), and Ryland Davies (Messenger). Ivor Bolton conducts the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Salzburger Bachchor (Chorus Master Alois Glaßner). Organ solo by James McVinnie. Sets by Annette Kurz; costumes by Ursula Renzenbrink; lighting by Stefan Bolliger; dramatic advice by Thomas Jonigk; choreographic assistance by Thomas Wilhelm. Directed for TV by Hannes Rossacher. Released 2011, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade:B
Handel wrote Theodora as an oratorio that would normally be formed by a large chorus standing in rows with the soloists in front and all singers using sheet music. Opera director Christof Loy was hired to semi-stage the oratorio. Loy was a good choice for this since his style as opera director generally is to vastly simplify sets, props, and dramaturgy to the point that even operas become semi-staged. With Loy on board you can save money on the frills and pay bigger fees to get the best singers.
Puccini Tosca opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed 2018 by Michael Sturminger at the Osterfestspiele Salzburg. Stars Anja Harteros (Floria Tosca), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Mario Cavaradossi), Ludovic Tézier (Baron Scarpia), Andrea Mastroni (Cesare Angelotti), Matteo Peirone (The Sacristan), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Spoletta), Luca Casalin (Sciarrone), Levente Páll (A Jailer), and Benjamin Aster (A Shepherd Boy). Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Salzburger Bachchor (Chorus Master Alois Glaßner), and the Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor (Chorus Master Wolfgang Götz). Costume and set design by Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser; lighting design by Urs Schönebaum. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Handel Alcina opera to a libretto by an unknown author. Directed 2015 by Katie Mitchell assisted by Dan Ayling and Robin Tebbutt at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Stars Patricia Petibon (Alcina, a sorceress), Philippe Jaroussky (Ruggiero, a warrior enchanted by Alcina), Anna Prohaska (Morgana, Alcina’s younger sister), Katarina Bradić (Bradamante, Ruggiero’s former sweetheart), Anthony Gregory (Oronte, Alcina’s general), Krzysztof Baczyk (Melisso, Ruggiero’s former comrade), and Elias Mädler (Oberto, a boy seeking his missing father). Actors are Juliet Alderdice (the real Alcina), Jane Thorne (the real Morgana), Ian Hallard (Oberto's father/servant), plus Zoé Aldrich, Josephine Arden, Sarah Northgraves, and Anna Martine (more servants of Alcina). Andrea Marcon conducts the Freiburger Barockorchester and Chœur MusicAeterna (Chœur de l'Opéra de Perm under Chorus Master Vitaly Polonsky). Continuo: theorbos Daniele Ciminiti and Maria Ferré; cello Guido Larisch; harpsichords Andrea Marcon and Johannes Keller. Set design by Chloe Lamford; costume design by Laura Hopkins assisted by Blanca Anon Garcia and Clémence Pernoud