Verdi Macbeth opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2017 by Emma Dante at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo. Stars Roberto Frontali (Macbeth), Marko Mimica (Banco), Anna Pirozzi (Lady Macbeth), Federica Alfano (Dama di Lady Macbeth), Vincenzo Costanzo (Macduff), Manuel Pierattelli (Malcolm), Nicolò Ceriani (Doctor), Antonio Barbagallo (Servant), Francesco Cusumano (Duncano), Nunziatina Lo Presti (Fleanzio), and Actors of the Emma Dante Company and Students of the School of Performing Arts at the Teatro Biondo, Palermo. Gabriele Ferro conducts the Orchestra, Coro e Corpo di ballo del Teatro Massimo. Set design by Carmine Maringola; costume design by Vanessa Sannino; choreography by Manuela Lo Sicco; lighting design by Cristian Zucaro. Directed for film by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Britten Death in Venice opera to a libretto by Myfanwy Piper. Directed 2014 by Willy Decker at the Teatro Real. Stars John Daszak (Gustav von Aschenbach), Leigh Melrose (The Traveller/Elderly Fop/Old Gondolier/Hotel Manager/Hotel Barber/Leader of the Players/Voice of Dionysus), Tomasz Borczyk (Tadzio), Anthony Roth Costanzo (The Voice of Apollo), Duncan Rock (English Clerk/Venice Guide), Itxaro Mentxaka (Cadging), Vicente Ombuena (Concierge), Antonio Lozano (Crystal Merchant), Damián del Castillo (Waiter), Nuria García Arrés (Vendedora de Encaje), and Ruth Iniesta (Strawberry Seller/Newspaper Seller). Alejo Pérez conducts the Teatro Real Chorus and Orchestra (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Set design by Wolfgang Gussmann; costume design by Wolfgang Gussmann and Susana Mendoza; lighting design by Hans Toelstede; choreography by Athol Farmer; dramaturge by Klaus Bertisch. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Donizetti La Favorite opera to a libretto by Alphonse Royer, Gustave Vaëz, and Eugène Scribe. Directed by Ariel García-Valdés with co-director Derek Gimpel at the Gran Teatre del Liceu di Barcellona. Stars Veronica Simeoni (Léonor de Guzman), Celso Albelo (Fernand), Mattia Olivieri (Alphonse XI, King of Castile), Ugo Guagliardo (Balthazar), Manuel Amati (Don Gaspar), Francesca Longari (Inès), Leonardo Sgroi (Un Seigneur), and extras Paolo Arcangeli, Cristiano Colangelo, Domenico Nuovo, and Pierangelo Prziosa. Fabio Luisi conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Chorus Master Lorenzo Fratini). Set and costume design by Jean-Pierre Vergier; lighting design by Dominique Borrini. Directed for TV by Matteo Ricchetti. Sound recorded by Rino Trasi. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Puccini Madama Butterfly opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier at the Royal Opera House in 2017. Stars Ermonela Jaho (Cio-Cio San), Marcelo Puente (Pinkerton), Scott Hendricks (Sharpless), Carlo Bosi (Goro), Elizabeth DeShong (Suzuki), Jeremy White (Bonze), Emily Edmonds (Kate Pinkerton), Gyula Nagy (Imperial Commissioner), and Yuriy Yurchuk (Prince Yamadori). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Master William Spaulding; Co-Concert Master Sergey Levitin). Set design by Christian Fenouillat; costume design by Agostino Cavalca; lighting design by Christophe Forey; directed for video by Matthew Woodward. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Handel Xerxes opera to a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz (Serse in Italian). Directed 2017 by Tilmann Köhler at the Oper Frankfurt. Stars Gaëlle Arquez (Xerxes), Lawrence Zazzo (Arsamene), Elizabeth Sutphen (Romilda), Louise Alder (Atalanta), Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Amastre), Brandon Cedel (Ariodate), and Thomas Faulkner (Elviro). Constantinos Carydis conducts the Frankfurter Opern- und Museumorchester and the Vocalensemble Frankfurt. Set design by Karoly Risz; costume design by Susanne Uhl; lighting design by Joachim Klein; live video by Marlene Blumert; dramatic advisor was Zsolt Horpácsy. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Benjamin Britten Billy Budd opera to a libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier. Directed by Deborah Warner at the Teatro Real. Stars Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd), Toby Spence (Edward Fairfax Vere), Brindley Sherratt (John Claggart), Thomas Oliemans (Mr. Redburn), David Soar (Mr. Flint), Torben Jürgens (Lieutenant Ratcliffe), Christopher Gillet (Red Whiskers), Duncan Rock (Donald), Clive Bayley (Dansker), Sam Furness (Novice), Francisco Vas (Squeak), Manel Esteve (Bosun), Gerardo Bullón (First Mate), Tomeu Bibiloni (Second Mate), Borja Quiza (The Novice's Friend), Jordi Casanova (Maintop), and Isaac Galán (Arthur Jones). Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real de Madrid (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Stage design by Michael Levine; costume design by Chloe Obolensky; lighting design by Jean Kalman. Directed for TV by Jérémie Cuvillier. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Puccini La Bohème opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed 2017 by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House. Stars Nicole Car (Mimì), Michael Fabiano (Rodolfo), Simona Mihai (Musetta), Mariusz Kwiecień (Marcello), Luca Tittoto (Colline), and Florian Sempey (Schaunard). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Concert Master Vasko Vassilev) and Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Master William Spaulding). Associate direction by Elaine Kidd; designs by Stewart Laing; lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin; movement direction by Sarah Fahie. Directed for TV by Rhodri Huw. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Massenet Cendrillon opera (Cinderalla) to a libretto by Henri Caïn . Directed 2017 by Barbara Mundel and Olga Motta at the Theater Freiburg. Stars Kim-Lillian Strebel (Cendrillon), Anja Jung (Madame de la Haltière), Anat Czarny (Le Prince Charmant), Katharina Melnikova (La Fée), Irina Jae Eun Park (Noémie), Silvia Regazzo (Dorothée), Juan Orozco (Pandolfe), Jongsoo Yang (Le Roi), Naoishi Sekiguchi (Le Surintendant des Plaisirs), Roberto Gionfriddo (La Doyen de la Faculté), and Pascal Hufschmid (Le Premier Ministre / La Voix du Hérault). Fabrice Bollon conducts the Philharmornisches Orchester Freiburg as well as the Opern und Extrachor des Theater Freiburg (Chorus Master Bernhard Moncado). Choreography by Graham Smith; set design and costumes by Olga Motta; lighting by Dorothee Hoff; dramaturgy by Heiko Voss. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Che originali! and Pigmalione opera double feature directed and staged 2017 by Roberto Catalano at the Fondazione Donizetti in Bergamo.
Giovanni Simone Mayr Che originali! to libretto by Gaetano Rossi. Stars Bruno de Simone (Don Febeo), Chiara Amarù (Donna Aristea), Leonardo Cortellazzi (Don Carolino), Angela Nisi (Donna Rosina), Omar Montanari (Biscroma), Gioia Crepaldi (Celestina), and Pietro Di Bianco (Carluccio).
Gaetano Donizetti Pigmalione to libretto by Simeone Antonio Sografi. Stars Antonio Siragusa (Pigmalione), and Aya Wakizono (Galatea).
Gianluca Capuano conducts the Orchestra dell'Accademia Teatro alla Scala (assistant conductor Roberto Frattini). Set design by Emanuele Sinisi; costume design by Ilaria Ariemme; lighting design by Alessandro Andreoli. Directed for TV by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2017 by Barrie Kosky at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Michael Volle (Hans Sachs), Günther Groissböck (Veit Pogner), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther von Stolzing), Daniel Behle (David), Anne Schwanewilms (Eva), and Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Magdalene). Philippe Jordan conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Stage design by Rebecca Ringst; costume design by Klaus Bruns; lighting design by Franck Evin; video by Regine Freise; dramaturgy by Ulrich Lenz. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Puccini La Fanciulla del West opera to a libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini. Directed 2017 by Hugo de Ana. Stars Emily Magee (Minnie), Roberto Aronica (Dick Johnson), Claudio Sgura (Jack Rance), Bruno Lazzaretti (Nick), John Paul Huckle (Ashby), Gianfranco Montresor (Sonora), Paolo Orecchia (Sid), Antonello Ceron (Trin), Tommaso Barea (Bello), Orlando Polidoro (Harry), Enrico Cossutta (Joe), Ivan Marino (Happy), Donato Di Gioia (Larkens), Enrico Marchesini (Billy Jackrabbit), Alessandra Visentin (Wowkle), Carlo Checchi (Jake Wallace), Francesco Musinu (José Castro), and Armando Valentino (Un Postiglione). Juraj Valčuha conducts the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro di San Carlo (Chorus Master Marco Faelli). Sets and costumes by Hugo de Ana; lighting by Vinicio Cheli; video direction by Tiziano Mancini. Released in 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Verdi Il trovatore opera to libretto by Salvadore Cammarano and Leone Emanuele Bardare. Directed 2017 by David Bösch. Stars Lianna Haroutounian (Leonora), Gregory Kunde (Manrico), Anita Rachvelishvili (Azucena), Vitaliy Bilyy (Luna), and Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Ferrando). Richard Farnes conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus. Set design by Patrick Bannwart; costume design by Meentje Nielsen. Released in 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Brett Dean Hamlet opera to libretto by Matthew Jocelyn. Directed 2018 by Neil Armfield at Glyndebourne (in a World Premiere). Stars Allan Clayton (Hamlet), Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia), Sarah Connolly (Gertrude), Rod Gilfry (Claudius), Kim Begley (Polonius), John Tomlinson (Ghost of Old Hamlet), David Butt Philip (Laertes), Jacques Imbrailo (Horatio), Rupert Enticknap (Rosencrantz), and Christopher Lowrey (Guildenstern). Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Leader Vesselin Gellev) and The Glyndebourne Chorus (Chorus Master Jeremy Bines). Set design by Ralph Myers; costume design by Alice Babidge; movement direction by Denni Sayers; lighting design by John Clark; fight direction by Nicholas Hall; produced by George Bruell; directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Verdi Giovanna d'Arco opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Francesco Meli (Carlo VII), Anna Netrebko (Giovanna), Carlos Álvarez (Giacomo), Dmitry Beloselskiy (Talbot), and Michele Mauro (Delil). Riccardo Chailly conducts the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni). Set design by Christian Fenouillat; costume design by Agostino Cavalca; lighting design by Christope Forey; video design by Étienne Guiol; movement direction by Leah Hausman; directed for TV by Patrizia Carmine. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio. Grade: NARead More