Opera

Rusalka

Dvořák Rusalka opera to libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil. Directed 2012 by Kristina Wuss at the Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Stars Magdalena Polkowska (Rusalka); Tadeusz Szlenkier (Prince); Jacek Greszta (Water Gnome); Darina Gapicz (Witch); Katarzyna Nowak-Stańczyk (Foreign Princess); Pavlo Tolstoy (Gamekeeper); Victoria Vatutina (Turnspit); and Krystyna Nowak, Marta Ustyniak, Ewa Banasiak, Mariola Winkler-Kołtyś, Lidia Golińska, and Dorota Sobczak (Wood-sprites). Maciej Figas conducts Orchestra and Choir of the Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz (Choir Master Henryk Wierzchoń). Set and costume design by Mariusz Napierała; choreography by Iwona Runowska; multimedia productions by Krystian Drywa; light design by Maciej Igielski. Sung in Polish; subtitles in Polish, English, and German. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Grade: NA

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Die Zauberflöte

Mozart Die Zauberflöte (the Magic Flute) opera to libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. Directed 2018 by Lydia Steier at the Großes Festspielhaus as part of the Salzburg Festival. Stars Matthias Goerne (Sarastro), Mauro Peter (Tamino), Albina Shagimuratova (The Queen of the Night), Christiane Karg (Pamina), Adam Plachetka (Papageno), Maria Nazarova (Papagena), Michael Porter (Monostatos), Klaus Maria Brandauer (Grandfather), Tareq Nazmi (The Speaker), and the Wiener Sängerknaben (Three Boys). Constantinos Carydis conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Ernst Raffelsberger). Stage design by Katharina Schlipf; costume design by Ursula Kudrna; lighting by Olaf Freese. Directed for TV by Michael Beyer. Sung in German. Disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Vanessa

Samuel Barber Vanessa opera to a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti. Directed 2018 by Keith Warner at Glyndebourne. Stars Emma Bell (Vanessa), Virginie Verrez (Erika), Edgaras Montvidas (Anatol), Rosalind Plowright (The Old Baroness), Donnie Ray Albert (The Old Doctor), William Thomas (Nicholas), and Romanas Kudriašovas (Footman). Jakub Hrůša conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Leader Kevin Lin) and the Glyndebourne Chorus (Chorus Master Nicholas Jenkins). Designs by Ashley Martin-Davis; lighting design by Mark Jonathan; movement direction by Michael Barry; projection design by Alex Uragallo. Directed for TV by François Roussillon; produced by George Bruell. Sung in English. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Pique Dame

Tchaikovsky Pique Dame opera to a libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky. Directed 2018 by Hans Neuenfels at the Großes Festpielhaus as part of the Salzburg Festival. Stars Brandon Jovanovich (Hermann), Evgenia Muraveva (Lisa), Vladislav Sulimsky (Count Tomsky/Plutus), Igor Golovatenko (Prince Yeletsky), Hanna Schwarz (Countess), Alexander Kravets (Chekalinsky), Stanislav Trofimov (Surin), Gleb Peryazev (Narumov), Pavel Petrov (Chaplitsky), and Oksana Volkova (Polina/Daphnis). Mariss Jansons conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor (Chorus Master Ernst Raffelsberger), and the Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor (Chorus Master Wolfgang Götz). Set design by Christian Schmidt; costume design by Reinhard von der Thannen; lighting design by Stefan Bolliger; video designs by Nicolas Humbert and Martin Otter. Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Sung in Russian. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Didone Abbandonata

Giuseppe Saverio Mercadante Didone Abbandonata opera to a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola. Directed 2018 by Jürgen Flimm at the Tiroler Landestheater, Innsbruck, Austria as part of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. Stars Viktorija Miškūnaitė (Didone), Katrin Wundsam (Enea), Carlo Vincenzo Allemano (Jarba), Pietro Di Bianco (Osmida), Diego Godoy (Araspe), and Emilie Renard (Selene). Alessandro De Marchi conducts the Academia Montis Regalis. Features Chiara Cattani on fortepiano. Set design by Magdalena Gut; costume design by Kristina Bell; lighting design by Irene Selka; choreography by Tiziana Colombo. Directed for TV by Götz Filenius. Sung in Italian. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Il castello di Kenilworth

Donizetti Il castello di Kenilworth opera to a libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola. Directed 2018 by Maria Pilar Pérez Aspa (with assistant director Federico Bertolani) at the Bergamo Teatro Sociale as part of the Donizetti Opera Festival. Stars Jessica Pratt (Elisabetta), Carmela Remigio (Amelia), Xabier Anduaga (Leicester), Stefan Pop (Warney), Dario Russo (Lambourne), and Federica Vitali (Fanny). Riccardo Frizza conducts the Orchestra Donizetti Opera and the Coro Donizetti Opera (Chorus Master Fabio Tartari). Set design by Angelo Sala; costume design by Ursula Patzak with assistant costume designer Nika Campisi; lighting design by Fiammetta Baldiserri. Directed for TV by Adriano Figari and Matteo Ricchetti. Sound recorded by Rino Trasi and Giuseppe Famularo. Sung in Italian. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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Das Wunder der Heliane

Korngold Das Wunder der Heliane opera to a libretto by Hans Müller-Einigen after Der Heilige by Hans Kaltneker. Directed 2018 by Christof Loy at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Stars Sara Jakubiak (Heliane), Brian Jagde (Der Fremde or the Stranger), Josef Wagner (Der Herrscher or the Ruler), Okka von der Damerau (Die Botin or the Messinger), Derek Welton (Der Pförtner or the Doorman), and Burkhard Ulrich (Der blinde Schwertrichter or the Chief Justice). Marc Albrecht conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Chorus Master Jeremy Bines). Set design by Johannes Leiacker; costume design by Barbara Drosihn. Directed for TV by Götz Filenius. Sung in German. Released 2019, 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: A-

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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), Elena Zaremba (Marta), Roman Shulakov (Alméric), Gennady Bezzubenkov (Bertrand), Anna Patalong (Brigitta), and Paola Gardina (Laura). Sung in Russian.

  2. The Nutcracker ballet to a libretto by Dmitri Tcherniakov. Choreography by Arthur Pita, Édouard Lock, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Stars Marion Barbeau (Marie), Stéphane Bullion (Vaudémont), Nicholas Paul (Drosselmeyer), Aurelien Houette (The Father), Alice Renavand (The Mother), Takeru Coste (Robert), and Caroline Bance (The Sister) supported by the Corps De Ballet de L’Opéra national de Paris.

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Attila

Verdi Atilla opera to a libretto by Temistocle Solera. Directed 2016 by Daniele Abbado at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Stars Ildebrando D’Arcangelo (Attila), Simone Piazzola (Ezio), Maria José Siri (Odabella), Fabio Sartori (Foresto), Gianluca Floris (Uldino), and Antonio Di Matteo (Leone). Michele Mariotti conducts the Orquesta del Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Chorus Master Andrea Faidutti). Set and lighting design by Gianni Carluccio; costumes by Gianni Carluccio and Daniela Cernigliaro; choreography by Simone Bucci; assistant stage direction by Boris Stetka; assistant stage design by Sebastiana Di Gesù. Directed for TV by Arnalda Canali. Released 2019, disc has 5.0 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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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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Carmina Burana and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2

Carl Orff Carmina Burana cantata and Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 concert. Recorded October 10, 2018 at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in the Forbidden City, Beijing. Features soloists Aida Garifullina (soprano), Toby Spence (tenor), Ludovic Tézier (baritone), Daniil Trifonov (piano), and Mari Samuelsen (violin). Long Yu conducts the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir, and the Wiener Singakademie (Chorus Master Heinz Ferlesch). Disc contains the following works:

  1. Carl Orff Carmina Burana (soloists Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence, and Ludovic Tézier)

  2. Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 (Daniil Trifonov)

  3. Max Richter November (Mari Samuelsen)

  4. Tianhua Liu Enchanted Night

  5. Jasmine Flower, a traditional Chinese folk song.

Directed for TV by Tiziano Mancini. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: C+

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Der Rosenkavalier

Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier opera to libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Directed 2017 by Robert Carsen at the The Met. Stars Elīna Garanča (Octavian), Renée Fleming (Marschallin), Billy Conahan (Mohammed), Günther Groissböck (Baron Ochs), Scott Scully (Major-domo), Marco Jordão, Ross Benoliel, Clark Smith, Edward Hanlon (Lackeys),  Sidney Fortner (Noble widow), Maria D'Amato, Christina Thomson Anderson, Rosalie Sullivan (Three noble orphans), Anne Nonemacher (A milliner), Dustin Lucas (An animal vendor), James Countney (Notary), Alan Oke (Valzacchi), Helene Scheiderman (Annina), Tom Watson (Hairdresser),  Matthew Polonzani (An Italian singer), Patrick Stoffer (Leopold), Markus Brück (Herr von Faninal), Erin Morley (Sophie), Susan Neves (Marianne),Mark Schowalter (Faninal's major-domo), Frank Colardo (Doctor), Tony Stevenson (Innkeeper), Brian Frutiger, Bradley Garvin, Brian Kontes, Christopher Job (Waiters), and Scott Conner (Police Commissioner).  Sebastian Weigle conducts the The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

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Saul

Handel Saul opera to libretto by Charles Jennens. Directed 2015 by Barrie Kosky at the Glyndebourne Opera House. Stars Christopher Purves (Saul), Iestyn Davies (David), Lucy Crowe (Merab), Sophie Bevan (Michal), Paul Appleby (Jonathan), Benjamin Hulett (Abner/High Priest/Amalekite/Doeg), and John Graham-Hall (Witch of Endor). Ivor Bolton conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Leader Alison Bury) and The Glyndebourne Chorus (Chorus Master Jeremy Bines). Designs by Katrin Lea Tag; choreographed by Otto Pichler; lighting by Joachim Klein. Directed for TV by François Roussillon; produced by George Bruell. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+

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Der Freischütz

Carl Maria von Weber Der Freischütz opera to libretto by Friedrich Kind. Directed 2017 by Matthias Hartmann at the Teatro alla Scala. Stars Michael Kraus (Ottokar), Frank van Hove (Kuno/Samiel’s Voice), Julia Kleiter (Agathe), Eva Liebau (Ännchen), Günther Groissböck (Kaspar), Michael König (Max), Stephen Milling (A Hermit), and Till von Orlowsky (Kilian). Myung-Whun Chung conducts the Coro e orchestra del Teatro alla Scala (Chorus Master Bruno Casoni). Set design by Raimund Orfeo Voigt; costume design by Susanne Bisovsky and Josef Gerger; lighting design by Marco Filibeck; dramaturgy by Michael Küster. Released 2019, music was recorded with 48kHz/24-bit sound sampling and disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA

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