Opera

Madama Butterfly

Puccini Madama Butterfly opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier at the Royal Opera House in 2017. Stars Ermonela Jaho (Cio-Cio San), Marcelo Puente (Pinkerton), Scott Hendricks (Sharpless), Carlo Bosi (Goro), Elizabeth DeShong (Suzuki), Jeremy White (Bonze), Emily Edmonds (Kate Pinkerton), Gyula Nagy (Imperial Commissioner), and Yuriy Yurchuk (Prince Yamadori). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Master William Spaulding; Co-Concert Master Sergey Levitin). Set design by Christian Fenouillat; costume design by Agostino Cavalca; lighting design by Christophe Forey; directed for video by Matthew Woodward. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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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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Norma

Bellini Norma opera to libretto by Felice Romani. Directed 2018 by Sir David McVicr at the Metropolitan Opera. Stars Sondra Radvanovsky (Norma), joyce DiDonato (Adalgisa), Joseph Calleja (Pollione), Matthew Rose (Oroveso), Michelle Bradley (Clotilde), and Adam Diegel (Flavio). Carlo Rizzi conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Set design by Robert Jones; costume design by Moritz Junge; lighting design by Paule Constable; movement direction by Leah Hausman. Released 2018. Grade: NA

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Wozzeck

Alban Berg Wozzeck opera to libretto by the composer. Directed 2017 by Krzysztof Warlikowski at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. Stars Christopher Maltman (Wozzeck), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Marie), Frank van Aken (Drum Major), Marcel Beekman (Captain/Madman), Sir Willard White (Doctor), Jason Bridges (Andres), Ursula Hesse von den Steinen (Margret), Scott Wilde (First Apprentice), Morschi Franz (Second Apprentice), Jacob Jutte (Marie’s Son), and Richard Prada (A Soldier). Matt Albrecth conducts the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Chorus of Dutch National Opera (Chorus Master Ching-Lien Wu), and the New Amsterdam Children’s Choir (Chorus Master Eline Welle). Set and costume design by Małgorzata Szczęśniak; lighting design by Felice Ross; video design by Denis Guéguin; choreography by Claude Bardouil; dramaturgy by Christian Longchamp; directed for film by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Le nozze di Figaro

Mozart Le nozze di Figaro opera to libretto by Lorenza da Ponte. Directed 2015 by Jürgen Flimm (with Gudrun Hartmann) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden im Schiller Theater. Stars Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Count Almaviva), Dorothea Röschmann (Countess Almaviva), Anna Prohaska (Susanna), Lauri Vasar (Figaro), Mariane Crebassa (Cherubino), Katharina Kammerloher (Marcellina), Florian Hoffmann (Basilio), Peter Maus (Don Curzio), Otto Katzameier (Bartolo), Olaf Bär (Antonio), and Sónia Grané (Barbarina). Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin and Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Frank Flade). Sets by Magdelena Gut; costumes by Ursala Kudrna; choreography by Catharina Lühr; lighting by Olaf Freese; dramaturgy by Detlef Giese. Directed for TV by Hannes Rossacher; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2017, has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Iolanta and The Nutcracker

This title has a double bill of Tchaikovsky works, an opera and a ballet:

  1. Iolanta opera to a libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky. Stars Sonya Yoncheva (Iolanta), Arnold Rutkowski (Vaudémont), Alexander Tsymbalyuk (King René), Andrei Zhilikhovsky (Robert), Vito Priante (Ibn-Hakia), and Elena Zaremba (Marta). Sung in Russian.

  2. The Nutcracker ballet to a libretto by Dmitri Tcherniakov. Choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Edouard Lock, and Arthur Pita. Stars Marion Barbeau (Marie), Stéphane Bullion (Vaudémont), Alice Renavand (The Mother), Nicholas Paul (Drosselmeyer), and the Corps de Ballet du l’Opera National de Paris.

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Orlando furioso

Antonio Vivaldi Orlando furioso to libretto by Grazio Braccioli. Directed by Fabio Ceresa at the Festival della Valle d’Itria. Stars Sonia Prina (Orlando), Michela Antenucci (Angelica), Lucia Cirillo (Alcina), Loriana Castellano (Bradamante), Konstantin Derri (Medoro), Luigi Schifano (Ruggiero), and Riccardo Novaro (Astolfo). The chorus includes sopranos Elena Tereshchenko, Alessandra Della Croce, and Cristina Fanelli; mezzos Antonia Fino, Sofia Tumanyan, and Rossella Giacchero; tenors Domenico Pellicola and Nico Franchini; and basses Laurence Meikle, Dielli Hoxha, and Massimiliano Guerrieri (vocal coach Ferdinando Sulla). Diego Fasolis conducts I Barocchisti and is the continuo. Sets design by Massimo Checchetto; costume design by Giuseppe Palella; light design by Giuseppe Calabrò; choreography by Riccardo Olivier. Directed for TV by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2018, disc has dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound. Grade: NA

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Macbeth

Verdi Macbeth opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2017 by Emma Dante at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo. Stars Roberto Frontali (Macbeth), Marko Mimica (Banco), Anna Pirozzi (Lady Macbeth), Federica Alfano (Dama di Lady Macbeth), Vincenzo Costanzo (Macduff), Manuel Pierattelli (Malcolm), Nicolò Ceriani (Doctor), Antonio Barbagallo (Servant), Francesco Cusumano (Duncano), Nunziatina Lo Presti (Fleanzio), and Actors of the Emma Dante Company and Students of the School of Performing Arts at the Teatro Biondo, Palermo. Gabriele Ferro conducts the Orchestra, Coro e Corpo di ballo del Teatro Massimo. Set design by Carmine Maringola; costume design by Vanessa Sannino; choreography by Manuela Lo Sicco; lighting design by Cristian Zucaro. Directed for film by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Death in Venice

Benjamin Britten Death in Venice opera to a libretto by Myfanwy Piper. Directed 2014 by Willy Decker at the Teatro Real. Stars John Daszak (Gustav von Aschenbach), Leigh Melrose (The Traveller/Elderly Fop/Old Gondolier/Hotel Manager/Hotel Barber/Leader of the Players/Voice of Dionysus), Tomasz Borczyk (Tadzio), Anthony Roth Costanzo (The Voice of Apollo), Duncan Rock (English Clerk/Venice Guide), Itxaro Mentxaka (Cadging), Vicente Ombuena (Concierge), Antonio Lozano (Crystal Merchant), Damián del Castillo (Waiter), Nuria García Arrés (Vendedora de Encaje), and Ruth Iniesta (Strawberry Seller/Newspaper Seller). Alejo Pérez conducts the Teatro Real Chorus and Orchestra (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Set design by Wolfgang Gussmann; costume design by Wolfgang Gussmann and Susana Mendoza; lighting design by Hans Toelstede; choreography by Athol Farmer; dramaturge by Klaus Bertisch. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound.

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Turandot

Puccini 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), Sabrina Amè (First Handmaid), Manuela Giacomini (Second Handmaid), and Nicoletta Cabassi (Pu-Tin-Pao). Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio Torino (Chorus Master Claudio Fenoglio). Sets, costumes, choreography, and lighting by Stefano Poda; collaborator director and assistant was Paolo Giani Cei; directed for video by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. Grade: NA

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La Favorite

Donizetti La Favorite opera to a libretto by Alphonse Royer,  Gustave Vaëz, and Eugène Scribe. Directed by Ariel García-Valdés with co-director Derek Gimpel at the Gran Teatre del Liceu di Barcellona. Stars Veronica Simeoni (Léonor de Guzman), Celso Albelo (Fernand), Mattia Olivieri (Alphonse XI, King of Castile), Ugo Guagliardo (Balthazar), Manuel Amati (Don Gaspar), Francesca Longari (Inès), Leonardo Sgroi (Un Seigneur), and extras Paolo Arcangeli, Cristiano Colangelo, Domenico Nuovo, and Pierangelo Prziosa. Fabio Luisi conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Chorus Master Lorenzo Fratini). Set and costume design by Jean-Pierre Vergier; lighting design by Dominique Borrini. Directed for TV by Matteo Ricchetti. Sound recorded by Rino Trasi. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Madama Butterfly

Puccini Madama Butterfly opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier at the Royal Opera House in 2017. Stars Ermonela Jaho (Cio-Cio San), Marcelo Puente (Pinkerton), Scott Hendricks (Sharpless), Carlo Bosi (Goro), Elizabeth DeShong (Suzuki), Jeremy White (Bonze), Emily Edmonds (Kate Pinkerton), Gyula Nagy (Imperial Commissioner), and Yuriy Yurchuk (Prince Yamadori). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House and the Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Master William Spaulding; Co-Concert Master Sergey Levitin). Set design by Christian Fenouillat; costume design by Agostino Cavalca; lighting design by Christophe Forey; directed for video by Matthew Woodward. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Xerxes

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

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Billy Budd

Benjamin Britten Billy Budd opera to a libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier. Directed by Deborah Warner at the Teatro Real. Stars Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd), Toby Spence (Edward Fairfax Vere), Brindley Sherratt (John Claggart), Thomas Oliemans (Mr. Redburn), David Soar (Mr. Flint), Torben Jürgens (Lieutenant Ratcliffe), Christopher Gillet (Red Whiskers), Duncan Rock (Donald), Clive Bayley (Dansker), Sam Furness (Novice), Francisco Vas (Squeak), Manel Esteve (Bosun), Gerardo Bullón (First Mate), Tomeu Bibiloni (Second Mate), Borja Quiza (The Novice's Friend), Jordi Casanova (Maintop), and Isaac Galán (Arthur Jones). Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real de Madrid (Chorus Master Andrés Máspero). Stage design by Michael Levine; costume design by Chloe Obolensky; lighting design by Jean Kalman. Directed for TV by Jérémie Cuvillier. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Agrippina

Handel Agrippina opera to a libretto by Vincenzo Grimani. Directed 2016 by Robert Carsen at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. Stars Patricia Bardon (Agrippina), Jake Arditti (Nerone), Danielle de Niese (Poppea), Filippo Mineccia (Ottone), Mika Kares (Claudio), Damien Pass (Pallante), Tom Verney (Narciso), and Christoph Seidl (Lesbo). Thomas Hengelbrock conducts the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. Set and costume design by Gideon Davey; lighting design by Robert Carsen and Peter van Praet; video design by Ian Galloway; dramaturgy by Ian Burton. Directed for TV by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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