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 video by Matteo Ricchetti. Directed for TV by Felix Breisach. Released 2018, disc has dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound. Grade: NARead More
Verdi Macbeth opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2017 by Emma Dante at the Teatro Massimo. Stars Roberto Frontali (Macbeth), Anna Pirozzi (Lady Macbeth), Marko Mimica (Banquo), Vincenzo Costanzo (Macduff), Manuel Pierattelli (Malcolm), Federica Alfano (Lady-in-Waiting), Nicolò Ceriani (Doctor), Antonio Barbagallo (Servant), Francesco Cusumano (Duncano), and Nunziatina Lo Presti (Fleanzio). Gabriele Ferro conducts the Teatro Massimo Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet (Chorus Master Piero Monti). Scene design by Carmine Maringola; costume design by Vanessa Sannino; lighting design by Cristian Zucaro; choreography by Manuela Lo Sicco; maestro d'armi was Sandro Maria Campagna; assistant director was Giuseppe Cutino; scene designs assistant was Roberto Tusa; costume designs assistant was Sylvie Barras. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
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), Anthony Roth Costanzo (The Voice of Apollo), Duncan Rock (Waiter), Tomasz Borczyk (Tadzio), 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. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
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. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. (Information here is preliminary and needs to be confirmed.) Grade: NARead More
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 Matteo Ricchetti; sound recorded by Rino Trasi. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
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. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
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 video by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
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: NARead More
Verdi Giovanna d'Arco opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed 2016 by Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway at the Teatro Farnese during the Verdi Festival. Stars Luciano Ganci (Carlo VII), Vittorio Vitelli (Giacomo), Vittoria Yeo (Giovanna), Gabriele Mangione (Delil) & Luciano Leoni (Talbot). Ramón Tebar conducts I Virtuosi Italiani and the Coro del Teatro Regio di Parma (Chorus Master Martino Faggiani). Stage design by Annette Mosk; costume design by Cornelia Doornekamp; lighting design by Floriaan Ganzevoort; video design by Peter Wilms; choreography by Lara Guidett. Directed for video by Saskia Boddeke. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
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 film by François Roussillon. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Puccini La Bohème opera to libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Directed 2017 by Richard Jones at the Royal Opera House. Stars Nicole Car (Mimì), Michael Fabiano (Rodolfo), Simona Mihai (Musetta), Mariusz Kwiecień (Marcello), Luca Tittoto (Colline), and Florian Sempey (Schaunard). Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Concert Master Vasko Vassilev) and Royal Opera Chorus (Chorus Master William Spaulding). Associate direction by Elaine Kidd; designs by Stewart Laing; lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin; movement direction by Sarah Fahie. Directed for the screen by Rhodri Huw. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Massenet Cendrillon opera (Cinderalla) to a libretto by Henri Caïn . Directed 2017 by Barbara Mundel and Olga Motta at the Theater Freiburg. Stars Kim-Lillian Strebel (Cendrillon), Anja Jung (Madame de la Haltière), Anat Czarny (Le Prince Charmant), Katharina Melnikova (La Fée), Irina Jae Eun Park (Noémie), Silvia Regazzo (Dorothée), Juan Orozco (Pandolfe), Jongsoo Yang (Le Roi), Naoishi Sekiguchi (Le Surintendant des Plaisirs), Roberto Gionfriddo (La Doyen de la Faculté), and Pascal Hufschmid (Le Premier Ministre / La Voix du Hérault). Fabrice Bollon conducts the Philharmornisches Orchester Freiburg as well as the Opern und Extrachor des Theater Freiburg (Chorus Master Bernhard Moncado). Choreography by Graham Smith; set design and costumes by Olga Motta; lighting by Dorothee Hoff; dramaturgy by Heiko Voss. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Che originali! and Pigmalione opera double feature directed and staged 2017 by Roberto Catalano at the Fondazione Donizetti.
Giovanni Simone Mayr Che originali! to libretto by Gaetano Rossi. Stars Bruno de Simone (Don Febeo), Chiara Amarù (Donna Aristea), Leonardo Cortellazzi (Don Carolino), Angela Nisi (Donna Rosina), Omar Montanari (Biscroma), Gioia Crepaldi (Celestina), and Pietro Di Bianco (Carluccio).
Gaetano Donizetti Pigmalione to libretto by Simeone Antonio Sografi. Stars Antonio Siragusa (Pigmalione), and Aya Wakizono (Galatea).
Gianluca Capuano conducts the Orchestra dell'Accademia Teatro alla Scala (assistant conductor Roberto Frattini). Set design by Emanuele Sinisi; costume design by Ilaria Ariemme; lighting design by Alessandro Ariemme; directed for the screen by Matteo Ricchetti. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More
Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg opera to a libretto by the composer. Directed 2017 by Barrie Kosky at the Bayreuth Festival. Stars Michael Volle (Hans Sachs), Günther Groissböck (Veit Pogner), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Klaus Florian Vogt (Walther von Stolzing), Daniel Behle (David), Anne Schwanewilms (Eva), and Wiebke Lehmkuhl (Magdalene). Philippe Jordan conducts the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Eberhard Friedrich). Stage design by Rebecca Ringst; costume design by Klaus Bruns; lighting design by Franck Evin; video by Regine Freise; dramaturgy by Ulrich Lenz. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NARead More