Mefistofele

 Arrigo Boito Mefistofele opera to a libretto by the author. Revival directed 2013 by Laurie Feldman (after Robert Carsen) at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Stars Ildar Abdrazakov (Mefistofele), Ramón Vargas (Faust), Patricia Racette (Margherita/Elena), Erin Johnson (Marta), Renée Rapier (Pantalis),  and Chuanyue Wang (Wagner and Rereo). Nicola Luisotti conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Dance Corps (Chorus Director Ian Robertson). Designed by Michael Levine; lighting design by Gary Marder (based on lighting design by Duane Schuler); choreography by Alphonse Poulin; video direction by Frank Zamacona; produced by Jessica Koplos and Matthew Shilvock; executive producer was David Gockley. Released 2014, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

According to Patrick Dillon, the monthly "Critic's Choice" editor of Opera News (March 2015 at page 53), this is a gentle updating of Robert Carsen's classic production of Mefistofele that's been popular in the US since 1988. Today's crop of singers do a commendable job; but of course, they aren't quite as good as those cast in the good-old-golden days. Never mind, the sound now is better and "the HD image is easily superior, with a palette and precision unattainable a quarter-century ago." Sounds like fun.

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