Xerxes

 

Handel Xerxes opera to a libretto by Alphonse Royer and Gustave Vaëz (Serse in Italian). Directed 2017 by Tilmann Köhler at the Frankfurt Opera. 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: NA

Richard Wigmore reviewed this at pages 116-117 of the December 2018 Gramophone. He objects to the director’s chaotic presentation of the plot, but he admires the way the “uniformly camera-friendly cast throw themselves with gusto into their roles and interact vividly in a way that is theatrically compelling and psychologically convincing.” We think you can see what Wigmore is talking about in this official trailer from the Frankfurt Opera: