C Major

Beatrice Cenci

Berthold Goldschmidt Beatrice Cenci opera to a libretto by Martin Esslin based on The Cenci by Percy Shelley. Directed 2018 by Johannes Erath at the Bregenz Festival. Stars Christoph Pohl (Count Francesco Cenci), Dshamilja Kaiser (Lucrezia), Gal James (Beatrice), Christina Bock (Bernardo), Per Bach Nissen (Cardinal Camillo), Michael Laurenz (Orsino), Wolfgang Stefan Schwaiger (Marzio), Sébastien Soulès (Olimpio), and Peter Marsh (A Judge). Johannes Debus conducts the Wiener Symphoniker and the Prague Philharmonic Choir. Stage design by Katrin Connan; costume design by Katharina Tasch; lighting design by Bernd Purkrabek. Released 2019. Grade: NA

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Salome

Richard Strauss Salome opera to a libretto from Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of Oscar Wilde's play Salome. Directed 2019 by Romeo Castellucci at the Salzburg Festival. Stars John Daszak (Herodes), Anan Maria Chiuri (Herodias), Asmik Grigorian (Salome), Gábor Bretz (Jochanaan), Julian Prégardien (Narraboth), Christina Bock (A Page of Herodias), Matthäus Schmidlechner (First Jew), Mathias Frey (Second Jew), Kristofer Lundin (Third Jew), Joshua Whitener (Fourth Jew), David Steffens (Fifth Jew), Tilmann Rönnebeck (First Nazarene), Paweł Trojack (Second Nazarene), Thomas Bennett (Kappadozier/Participant of the Young Singers Project), Peter Kellner (First Soldier), and Dashon Burton (Second Soldier). Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker. Sets, costumes and lighting by Romeo Castellucci; choreography by Cindy Van Acker; artistic collaborator was Silvia Costa; dramaturgy by Piersandra Di Matteo. Released 2019. Grade: NA

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Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky Pique Dame opera to a libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky. Directed 2018 by Hans Neuenfels at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Brandon Jovanovich (Hermann), Evgenia Muraveva (Lisa), Vladislav Sulimsky (Count Tomsky/Plutus), Igor Golovatenko (Prince Yeletsky), Hanna Schwarz (Countess), Alexander Kravets (Chekalinsky), Stanislav Trofimov (Surin), Gleb Peryazev (Narumov), Pavel Petrov (Chaplitsky), and Oksana Volkova (Polina/Daphnis). Mariss Jansons conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Ernst Raffelsberger), and the Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor (Chorus Master Wolfgang Götz). Set design by Christian Schmidt; costume design by Reinhard von der Thannen; lighting design by Stefan Bolliger; video designs by Nicolas Humbert and Martin Otter. Directed for video by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"

Mahler Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection" concert 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 in 2018 at the Grosses Festspielhaus as part of the Salzburg Festival. Features soloists Ekaterina Gubanova (contralto), Lucy Crowe (soprano), and Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet). Directed for TV by Elizabeth Malzer. Includes subtitles German, English, French, Korean, and Japanese, a feature often omitted by careless publishers of Mahler 2. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Attila

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 TV by Arnalda Canali. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Le Comte Ory

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

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Theodora

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.

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Tosca

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

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Turandot

PPuccini Turandot opera to a libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. Directed 2018 by Stefano Poda at the Teatro Regio Torino. Stars Rebeka Lokar (Turandot), Jorge de León (Calaf), Erika Grimaldi (Liù), In-Sung Sim (Timur), Antonello Ceron (The Emperor Altoum), Marco Filippo Romano (Ping, Lord Chancellor), Luca Casalin (Pang, Majordomo), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Pong, Head Chef of the Imperial Kitchen), Roberto Abbondanza (A Mandarin), Joshua Sanders (The Prince of Persia [silent role]), Sabrina Amè (First Handmaid), Manuela Giacomini (Second Handmaid), and Nicoletta Cabassi (Pu-Tin-Pao, the Executioner[silent role]). Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio Torino (Chorus Master Claudio Fenoglio). Sets, costumes, lighting, and choreography by Stefano Poda; collaborator director and assistant was Paolo Giani Cei. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini; Audio Producer Claudio Speranzini; Recording Engineer Antonio Martino; Audio Recording, Editing, and Mix by MASClassica. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. Grade: A+

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I due Foscari

Verdi i due Foscari opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed by Alvis Hermanis in 2016 at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Stars Plácido Domingo (Francesco Foscari), Francesco Meli (Jacopo Foscari), Anna Pirozzi (Lucrezia Contarini), Andrea Concetti  (Jacopo Loredano), Edoardo Miletti (Barbarigo), Chiara Isotton (Pisana), Azer Rza-Fade (Fante), and Modestas Sedlevičius (Servant of the Dodge). Michelle Mariotti conducts the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni).  Frédéric Olivieri directs soloists of the Academy and students of the Ballet Academy of Teatro alla Scala. Stage and set designs by Alvis Hermanis; costume design by Kristīne Jurjāne; lighting by Gleb Filshtinksy; choreography by Alla Sigalova; video designs by Ineta Sipunova; dramatic advisor was Olivier Lexa. Directed for TV by Tiziano Manchini. A 2K standard Blu-ray was released in 2017. A 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray was released in 2019. Both discs have 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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John Neumeier Collection

This John Neumeier Collection box set has four Neumeier ballets previously published by C Major. Each disc has already been reported on this website, and you can get more details by using the links provided:

  1. Nijinsky. 2018. (Grade B)

  2. Bach Christmas Oratorio. 2015. (Grade A+)

  3. Tatiana. 2016. (Grade: A-)

  4. The Little Mermaid. 2011. (Grade A+)

All the titles in this box are magnificent dance productions from the finest story-telling choreographer working today. We graded two of these down some for what we consider to be excessive video pace (two many clips too fast). But don’t let this slow you down. With an appropriate price, this would be one of the very best Blu-ray ballet boxes on the market and a must buy for every ballet fan. We are so fortunate to have material of this quality coming out in a money-saving package.

Released 2019. Box Set Grade: A

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Onegin

Onegin ballet. Music by Tchaikovsky arranged and orchestrated by Kurt-Heinz Stolze (various selections and not the music to Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin). Choreography by John Cranko. Filmed November 2017. Stars Friedemann Vogel (Onegin), Alicia Amatriain (Tatiana), David Moore (Lensky), Elisa Badenes (Olga), Jason Reilly (Prince Gremin), Melinda Witham (Madame Larina), and Marcia Haydée (Tatiana’s and Olga’s Nurse). James Tuggle conducts the State Orchestra Stuttgart. Set and costume design by Jürgen Rose; artistic supervision by Reid Anderson. Directed for TV by Michael Beyer. (It appears this was shot in 4K but published in 2K.) Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: C+

Cranko introduced today’s Onegin in Stuttgart in 1967 (after revising slightly the original 1965 version). It’s an extremely simplified, straight-forward telling of the lost-love story from Puskin’s poem with elaborate but easy-to-understand dancing and acting in a naturalistic style (no pantomime). It was an immediate hit and has been in the Stuttgart repertory ever since. It was quickly taken up by many dance companies around the world. With the exception of the great Tchaikovsky/Petipa works from the 19th century (Sleeping Beauty, etc.), Cranko’s Onegin may well have been seen by more people than any other ballet.

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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet ballet. Music by Sergei Prokofiev. Choreography by John Cranko. Filmed 2017. Stars Elisa Badenes (Juliet), David Moore (Romeo), Reid Anderson (Lord Capulet), Melinda Witham (Lady Capulet), Robert Robinson (Tybalt), Roman Novitzky (Count Pairs), Marcia Haydée (Juliet’s Nurse), Matteo Crockard-Villa (Lord Montague), Julia Bergua Orero (Lady Montague), Martí Fernández Paixà (Mercutio), Adhonay Soares da Silva (Benvolio), Rolando D’Alesio (Duke of Verona), Egon Madsen (Friar Laurence), and Rocio Aleman (Rosaline). James Tuggle conducts the State Orchestra Stuttgart. Set and costume design by Jürgen Rose. Directed for TV by Michael Beyer. (It appears this was shot in 4K but published in 2K.) Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra 50th Anniversary Concert

Alfred Eschwé conducts the Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra for its 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, 2016. Directed for video by Karina Fibich. Released 2019, the Blu-ray disc has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Grade: NA

The concert is as follows:

1. Johann Strauss II “Ouvertüre” zur Operette Waldmeister (“Overture” to the operetta Waldmeister)
2. Johann Strauss II “Neues Leben” polka (“New Life”)
3. Johan Strauss II “Die Bajadere” polka (“The Bayadere”)
4. Josef Strauss “Dorfschwalben aus Österreich” waltz (“Village Swallows from Austria”)
5. Josef Strauss “Die tanzende Muse” polka (“The Dancing Muse”)
6. Josef Strauss “Vélocipède” polka (“Velocipide”)
7. Josef Strauss “Transactionen” waltz (“Transactions”)

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I Lombardi alla prima crociata

Verdi I Lombardi alla prima crociata opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed 2018 by Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera at the Teatro Regio Torino. Stars Giuseppe Gipali (Arvino), Alex Esposito (Pagano), Lavinia Bini (Viclinda), Angela Meade (Giselda), Antonio Di Matteo (Pirro), Joshua Sanders (Prior of Milan), Giuseppe Capoferri (Acciano), Francesco Meli (Oronte), and Alexandra Zabala (Sofia). Michele Mariotti conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio Torino (Chorus Master Andrea Secchi). Set design by Jean-Guy Lecat, costume design by Fernand Ruiz, light design by Franco Marri; assistant direction by Gianni Santucci; recorded by Rino Trasi and Giuseppe Famularo; directed for video by Matteo Ricchetti and Adriano Figari. Released 2012, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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