Opera

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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The Exterminating Angel

Thomas Adès The Exterminating Angel opera to libretto by Tom Cairns. Directed 2017 by Tom Cairns at the Metropolitan Opera. Stars Audrey Luna (Leticia Maynar), Amanda Echalaz (Lucía de Nobile), Sally Matthews (Silvia de Ávila), Sophie Bevan (Beatriz), Alice Coote (Leonora Palma), Christine Rice (Blanca Delgado), Iestyn Davies (Francisco de Ávila), Joseph Kaiser (Edmundo de Nobile), Frédéric Antoun (Raúl Yebenes), David Portillo (Eduardo), David Adam Moore (Colonel Álvaro Gómez), Rod Gilfry (Alberto Roc), Kevin Burdette (Señor Russel), Christian Van Horn (Julio), and John Tomlinson (Doctor Carlos Conde). Thomas Adès conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Donald Palumbo). Set and costume design by Hildegard Bechtler; lighting design by Jon Clark; projection design by Tal Yarden; choreography by Amir Hosseinpour; music production by David Frost; recorded for TV by Gary Halvorson. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Orphée et Eurydice

Christoph Gluck Orphée et Eurydice opera to libretto by Pierre-Louis Moline (sung in French). Directed 2018 by Hofesh Shechter & John Fulljames at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Juan Diego Florez (Orphée), Christiane Karg (Eurydice), and Fatma Said (L’Amour). Michelle Mariotti conducts the Coro e Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni). Set and costume design by Conor Murphy; lighting by Lee Curran (revived by Andrea Giretti); choreography by Hofesh Shechter; video direction by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2018, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Stiffelio

Verdi Stiffelio opera to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed by Graham Vick in 2017 at the Teatro Farnese. Stars Luciano Ganci (Stiffelio), Maria Katzarava (Lina), Francesco Landolfi (Stankar), Giovanni Sala (Raffaele), Emanuele Cordaro (Jorg), Blagoj Nacoski (Federico di Frengel), and Cecilia Bernini (Dorotea). Guillermo García Calvo conducts the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Chorus Master Andrea Faidutti). Scene and costume design by Mauro Tinti; lighting design by Giuseppe di Iorio; choreography by Ronald Howell. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Cinderella

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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Lessons in Love and Violence

Lessons in Love and Violence opera by British composer George Benjamin to a libretto by Martin Crimp, a British playwright. Directed 2018 by Katie Mitchell at the Royal Opera House. Stars Stéphane Degout (King), Barbara Hannigan (Isabel), Gyula Orendt (Gaveston/Stranger), Peter Hoare (Mortimer), Samuel Boden (Boy/Young King), Ocean Barrington-Cook (Girl), Jennifer France (Witness 1/Singer 1/Woman 1), Krisztina Szabó (Witness 2/Singer 2/Woman 2), and Andri Björn Róbertsson (Witness 3/Madman). The composer himself conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Co-Concert Master Sergey Levitin). Designs by Vicki Mortimer; lighting by James Farncombe; movement direction and associate direction by Joseph Alford; directed for the screen by Margaret Williams. Released 2019, 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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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 McVicar at the Metropolitan Opera. Stars Matthew Rose (Oroveso), Joseph Calleja (Pollione), Adam Diegel (Flavio), Sondra Radvanovsky (Norma), Joyce DiDonato (Adalgisa), Michelle Bradley (Clotilde), and Christopher Reynolds and John Reynolds (Norma’s Children). Carlo Rizzi conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Chorus Master Donald Palumbo). Set design by Robert Jones; costume design by Moritz Junge; lighting design by Paule Constable; movement direction by Leah Hausman; directed for TV by Gary Halvorson. Released 2018, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. 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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