Don Carlo

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-

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Alma Deutscher Cinderella opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed by Brad Dalton at the Opera San José in 2017. Stars Vanessa Becerra (Cinderella), Jonas Hacker (Prince), Nathan Stark (The King), Stacey Tappan (Griselda), Karin Mushegain (Zibaldona), Mary Dunleavy (Stepmother), Claudia Chapa (Emeline), Brian Games Myer (Minister), and Helen Deutscher (Flower Girl). Features the composer Alma Deutscher on violin, piano, and organ. Jane Glover conducts the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House and the Opera San José Orchestra and Chorus. Released 2018. Grade: NA

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Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2 & Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1

On July 4 and 6, 2015, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed two concerts with Zubin Mehta conducting at the Charles Bronfman auditorium in Tel Aviv. On one night Khatia Buniatishvili performed the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 2. On the next night she played the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1. Videographer Christophe Boula was there to film Khatia's performances for Panamax. He must have been frustrated as he was unable to set up cameras at the back of the hall to shoot the orchestra and Khatia from normal angles of 4:00 to 8:00 o'clock. Most of his cameras were consigned to the sides and back of the stage (he did have one camera, probably hanging from a boom, that could shoot Khatia at the keyboard from about 7:00.)

Boula was told to make a DVD-style recording. But he had the capability of shooting something far better. I wonder if Boula knew at the time that his work would eventually result in the first fine-art recording ever to be published in 4K with High Dynamic Range? And did Boula guess that this project would arguably turn into, from the viewpoint of PQ and SQ anyway, the best recording ever to be made a fine-art performance? And did he foresee that the wonderful images he would record would nevertheless be crippled by weak video content? Well, it's not likely that we well hear anything from Boula about all this, so we will have to try to explain it for you.

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Verdi Otello opera to libretto by Arrigo Boito. Directed 2017 by Keith Warner at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Stars Jonas Kaufmann (Otello), Marco Vratogna (Iago), and Maria Agresta (Desdemona). Sir Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus. Released 2018. Grade: NA

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Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Offenbach Les Contes d'Hoffmann opera to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. Direction by John Schlesinger. Stars Vittorio Grigòlo (Hoffmann), Thomas Hampson (Lindorf/Coppélius/Dapertutto/Miracle), Sofia Fomina (Olympia), Christine Rice (Giulietta), Sonya Yoncheva (Antonia), Kate Lindsey (Nicklausse/Muse), Christophe Mortagne (Spalanzani), Eric Halfvarson (Crespel), Vincent Ordanneau (Andrès/Cochenille/Pittichinaccio/Frantz), Catherine Carby (Spirit of Antonia's Mother), David Junghoon Kim (Nathanaël), Charles Rice (Hermann), Yuriy Yurchuk (Schlémil), Jeremy White (Luther), and Olga Sabadoch (Stella). Evelino Pidò conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Co-Concert Master Sergey Levitin) and the Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Director Wiliam Spaulding). Sets by William Dudley; costumes by Maria Björnson; lighting by David Hersey; choreography by Eleanor Fazan; fight direction by William Hobbs; directed for the screen by Johathan Haswell. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Verdi Macbeth opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2016 by Darko Tresnjak at the LA Opera House. Stars Plácido Domingo (Macbeth), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Lady Macbeth), Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Banquo), Joshua Guerrero (Macduff), Joshua Wheeker (Malcolm), Summer Hassan (Lady-in-Waiting), Theo Hoffmann (Doctor/ First Apparition), Liv Redpath (Second Apparition), Isaiah Morgan (Third Apparition), Reid Bruton (Servant), and James Martin Schaefer (Assassin). James Conlon conducts LA Opera Orchestra and Choir (Chorus Director Grant Gershon). Scenic design by Darko Tresnjak and Colin McGurk; costume design by Suttirat Anne Larlarb; lighting design by Matthew Richards; projection design by Sean Nieuwenhuis; fight director by Steve Rankin; climbing consultant was Daniel Lyons. Executive Producers Christopher Koelsch and Rupert Hemmings; Screen Producers Anthea Bhargava and Eric White; directed for screen by Matthew Diamond. Released 2017, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci

"Cav and Pag" opera double feature directed and staged 2015 by Philipp Stölzl at the Salzburg Easter Festival (Osterfestspiele).

  1. First plays the Pietro Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana to libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzeti and Guido Menasci. Stars Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Stefania Toczyska ( Lucia), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), and Paul Clementi (Turiddu's Son).
  2. Then follows the Ruggero Leoncavallo Pagliacci to libretto by the composer. Stars Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe), and Alessio Arduini (Silvio).

Christian Thielemann conducts the (1) Staatskapelle Dresden and the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Jörn Hinnerk Andresen), (2) the Salzburger Bachchor (Chorus Master Alois Glassner), and (3) the Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor (Chorus Master Wolfgang Götz).  Stage music by members of the Staatskappelle Dresden. Sets designed by Philipp Stölzl; costumes by Ursula Kudrna; lighting by Heinz Ilsanker; dramatury by Jan Dvořák; director of photography Nyika Jancsó; video direction by Brian Large. Released 2016, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A-

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Dolce Vita

Dolce Vita concert. Jonas Kaufmann performs songs in Italian. Jochen Rieder conducts the RAI National Symphony Orchestra Torino at Teatro Carignano. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Video is directed by Andy Sommer.  Grade: NA

The setlist is:

  1. Mattinata (Ruggero Leoncavallo)
  2. Parla più piano (Nino Rota, Gianni Boncompagni)
  3. Torna a Surriento (Ernesto de Curtis, Giambattista de Curtis)
  4. Musica proibita (Stanislao Gastaldon)
  5. Ti voglio tanto bene (Ernesto de Curtis, Domenico Furnò)
  6. Fenesta ca lucive (Guillaume Louis Cottrau)
  7. Rondine al nido (Vincenzo de Crescenzo, Luigi Sica)
  8. Il canto (Romano Musumarra, Luca Barbarossa)
  9. Catari', Catari' (Core 'ngrato) (Salvatore Cardillo, Riccardo Cordiferro)
  10. Caruso (Lucio Dalla)
  11. Passione (Ernesto Tagliaferri, Nicola Valente, Libero Bovio)
  12. Voglio vivere così (Giovanni d'Anzi, Tito Manlio)
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Opera Gala 2016

The 2016 Opera Gala recital concert from Baden-Baden. Anja Harteros (soprano), Ekaterina Gubanova (mezzo-soprano), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor), and Bryn Terfel (base-baritone) sing opera favorites. Marco Armiliato conducts the Badisische Staatskapelle.  Released 2016, disc has 5.1 PCM and 5.1 dts-HD sound. Grade: NA

The program includes:

  1. Wagner Tannhäuser: "Dich, teure Halle, grüß’ ich wieder" Anja Harteros
  2. Gounod Faust: "Le veau d’or est toujours debout" Bryn Terfel
  3. Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana: "Voi lo sapete, o mamma" Ekaterina Gubanova
  4. Puccini Tosca: "E lucevan la stelle" Jonas Kaufmann
  5. BoitoMefistofele: "Son lo spirito che nega" Bryn Terfel
  6. Verdi Un ballo in maschera: "Morrò, ma prima in grazia" Anja Harteros
  7. Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana: "Tu qui, Santuzza?" Ekaterina Gubanova and Jonas Kaufmann
  8. Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur: "Acerba voluttà … L’anima ho stanca" Ekaterina Gubanova and Jonas Kaufmann
  9. Puccini Tosca: "Vissi d’arte" Anja Harteros and Bryn Terfel
  10. Verdi Don Carlo: "Ella giammai m’amò" Bryn Terfel
  11. Verdi Don Carlo: "Ah! Più mai non vedrò la regina ... O don fatale" Ekaterina Gubanova
  12. Verdi Don Carlo: "Tu che le vanità conoscesti del mondo" Anja Harteros
  13. Verdi Otello: "Già nella notte densa"   Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros
  14. Bizet Carmen: "L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" (Habanera) Ekaterina Gubanova
  15. Mascagni L'amico Fritz: "Son pochi fiori" Anja Harteros
  16. Bock Fiddler on the Roof: "If I were a rich man" Bryn Terfel
  17. Rota: "Parla più piano" Jonas Kaufmann
  18. Lehár Das Land des Lächelns: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" Quartet
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Verdi Otello opera to libretto by Arrigo Boito. Directed 2015 by Bartlett Sher at the Met. Stars Aleksandrs Antonenko (Otello), Sonya Yoncheva (Desdemona), Željka Lučić (Iago), Dimitri Pittas (Cassio), Jennifer Johnson Cano (Emilia), Jeff Mattsey (Montano), Chad Shelton (Roderigo), Günther Groissböck (Lodovico), and Tyler Duncan (A Herald). Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera (Chorus Master Donald Palumbo). Sets by Es Devlin; costumes by Catherine Zuber; lighting by Donald Holder; projection design by Luke Halls; video direction by Gary Halvorson. Music Producer was David Frost; Supervising Producers were Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park; Producers were Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Beethoven Fidelio opera to libretto by Joseph Ferdinand von Sonnleithner, Stephan von Breuning, and Georg Friedrich Treitschke. Directed 2015 by Claus Guth at the Salzburg Festival. Stars Adrianne Pieczonka (Leonore), Jonas Kaufmann (Florestan), Tomasz Konieczny (Don Pizarro), Hans-Peter König (Rocco), Olga Bezsmertina (Marzelline), Norbert Ernst (Jaquino), and Sebastian Holecek (Don Fernando). Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Konztertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Ernst Raffelsberger). Set and costume design by Christian Schmidt; dramatic advisory by Ronny Dietrich; lighting design Olaf Freese; sound design by Torsten Ottersberg; video design by Andi A. Müller; video direction by Michael Beyer. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts Digital Surround sound. Grade: NA

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Gianni Schicchi

Puccini Gianni Schicchi to libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. Directed 2015 by Kathleen Smith Belcher (as a revival of the 2008 Woody Allen production) at the LA Opera. Stars Plácido Domingo (Gianni Schicchi), Andriana Chuchman (Lauretta), Arturo Chacón-Cruz (Rinuccio), Philip Cokorinos (Betto di Signa), Meredith Arwady (Zita), Craig Colclough (Simone), Greg Fedderly (Gherardo), Stacey Tappan (Nella), Liam Bonner (Marco), and Peabody Southwell (La Ciesca) [Caution: several roles are missing here and preliminary information needs to be confirmed]. Grant Gershon conducts the LA Opera Orchestra. Set and costume design by Santo Loquasto; lighting by York Kennedy; video direction by Matthew Diamond. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Jonas Kaufmann - An Evening With Puccini

Jonas Kaufmann - An Evening With Puccini concert performed in June, 2015 at the Teatro alla Scala. Jochen Rieder conducts the Filarmonica della Scala. Features the following pieces:

Curtis, E:

"Non ti scordar di me"


'Ecco la casa . . .Torna ai felici di' (from Le Villi)
Le Villi - Prelude: 'La tregenda'
'Orgia, chimera dall'occhio vitreo' (from Edgar)
Edgar: Prelude to Act III
'Donna non vidi mai' (from Manon Lescaut)
Manon Lescaut: Intermezzo Act III
'Ah! Non v'avvicinate . . . No! pazzo son' (from Manon Lescaut)
Tosca: Prelude to Act Three
'E lucevan le stelle' (from Tosca)
Madama Butterfly: Prelude to Act Three
'Una parola sola! . . . Or son sei mesi' (from La Fanciulla del West)
Suor Angelica : Intermezzo
'Nessun dorma' (from Turandot)
'Recondita armonia' (from Tosca)
'Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano' (from La Fanciulla del West)


"Ombra di nube"

Directed for TV by Brian Large. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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La forza del destino

La forza del destino

Verdi La forza del destino opera to libretto by Francesco Piave revised by Antonio Ghislanzoni. Directed 2014 by Martin Kušej at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Stars Anja Harteros (Leonora), Jonas Kaufmann (Don Alvaro), Vitalij Kowaljow (Il Marchese di Calatrava/Padre Guardiano), Ludovic Tézier (Don Carlo de Vargas), Nadia Krasteva (Preziosilla), Renato Girolami (Fra Melitone), Heike Grötzinger (Curra), Christian Rieger (the Mayor), Francesco Petrozzi (Maestro Trabuco), and Rafał Pawnuk (Un chirurgo). Asher Fisch conducts the Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper (Chorus Master Sören Eckhoff). Sets by Martin Zehetgruber; lighting by Reinhard Traub; costumes by Heidi Hackl; dramatic advisors Olaf A. Schmitt and Benedikt Stampfli. Directed for video by Thomas Grimm. Executive Producer Norman Patokha; Producer Magdalena Herbst.  Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A-

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