Alcina

Handel Alcina opera to a libretto by an unknown author. Directed 2010 by Adrian Noble at the Wiener Staatsoper.  Stars Anja Harteros, Vesselina Kasarova, Veronica Cangemi, Kristina Hammarström, Alois Mühlbacher, Benjamin Bruns, and Adam Plachetka. Marc Minkowski conducts Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble (Chorus Director Thomas Lang). Stage musicians were Thibault Noally, Nils Wieboldt, Florian Cousin, Gilberto Caserio, Toshinori Ozaki, Francesco Corti, and Johannes Maria Bogner. Chorus members were Hannelore Auer, Gilles Combecave, Arina Holecek, Christian Jung, Jens Musger, Richard Neugebauer, Martina Reder, Barbara Reiter, Barbara Sommerbauer, Cornelia Sonnleithner, Ion Tibrea, and Oleg Zalytskiy. Set and costumes by Anthony Ward; lighting by Jean Kalman; choreography by Sue Lefton; directed for TV by Matthias Leutzendorff. Zoltan Glied corrected pointed out that the sound for this title was recorded using 96kHz/24-bit sound sampling. This makes this the first opera recording published (we think) in state-of-the-art sound and HD video. Released  2011, disc has 5.0 dts Master Audio output. Grade: Help!

Gramophone (December 2011, at page 99) acknowleges that this Alcina is available in Blu-ray, but you can't tell if Richard Lawrence, slamming Vessilina Kasarova, saw it in high-def.  David Shengold (bless his heart) did review the Blu-ray version in Opera News (January 2012, at page 62). He states that "Kasarova offers an incomprehensibly busy and vocally wayward performance that pushes the limits of self-parody" and that "Blu-ray reveals everything in amazing clarity---including Kasarova's  . . . distressing facial contertions."

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