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Schumann - Dichterliebe
Nachtigallen schwingen, Op. 6 No. 6
Lerchengesang Op. 70 No. 2
Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen, Op. 32 No. 2
Über die Heide Op. 86 No. 4
Wie rafft' ich mich auf Op. 32,1 (v.Platen)
Auf dem Kirchhofe, Op. 105 No. 4
Von ewiger Liebe, Op. 43 No. 1
O kühler Wald, Op. 72 No. 3
Es schauen die Blumen, Op. 96 No. 3
Feldeinsamkeit, Op. 86 No. 2
Nachtwandler, Op. 86 No. 3
Verzagen, Op. 72 No. 4
An eine Äolsharfe, Op. 19 No. 5
Nachtigall, Op. 97 No. 1
Abenddämmerung, Op. 49 No. 5
An die Nachtigall, Op. 46 No. 4 (Text: L.C.H. Hölty)
Dichterliebe, Op. 48
“Here is a singer-actor who has it all…” The Sunday Times
“In a league of his own…” The Sunday Telegraph
“The king of barnstorming performances…” The Independent
Sony Music Entertainment UK is pleased to present the first of three albums by British baritone Simon Keenlyside, who has recently signed a new exclusive recording contract with the Sony UK company.
The first recording under this exciting new agreement features Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Op.48, and a selection of Lieder by Brahms, sensitively accompanied by pianist Malcolm Martineau.
Simon Keenlyside was born in London and studied zoology at Cambridge before attending the Royal Northern College of Music for vocal studies. One of the world’s most sought-after and charismatic singers, he has appeared at many of the world’s major opera houses and concert halls, and is noted for his versatility and highly charged performances. Highlights of his career so far include his acclaimed performance of Billy Budd at the ENO, Prospero in the world premiere of Thomas Ades' The Tempest, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Count Almaviva in Milan and Vienna under Muti; Don Giovanni in Ferrara under Abbado and Pelleas in San Francisco, Geneva and Paris.
Simon Keenlyside won the 2006 Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in Opera for his performance of Billy Budd at ENO and Winston in the world premiere of 1984 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in 2007 he won a Gramophone Award for Tales Of Opera, his album of operatic arias recorded for Sony Music in Germany.
“Throughout, the baritone combines a detailed approach with an overview, demonstrating an exceptional ability to seek out the meaning of both text and music, holding them together in one single image. …a great Lieder singer at the peak of his powers. He is well served by his accompanist, who deploys a huge range of tone and colour with an equally firm artistic intent.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2009 *****
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on 8th & 12th September 2008.
Don Giovanni is one of the timeless classics of all opera. Mozart's music, and the words of his great collaborator Da Ponte, are brought to life in Francesca Zambello's engrossing production from 2002 with its rich and colourful designs by Maria Bjornson. The music is memorable, dramatic and enjoyable: from the seductive solo voices of the famous 'La ci darem la mano' to the fabulous ensemble as Don Giovanni's infatuated conquests, vengeful victims and their outraged relatives join forces for justice. And retribution does finally come to Don Giovanni, a serial womanizer and a murderer, with the searing flames of Hell ready to engulf him. Simon Keenlyside heads the outstanding cast, conducted by renowned Mozart expert Charles Mackerras.
Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.
Into the Royal Opera House.
Note: This Blu-ray Disc (BD) is not compatible with standard DVD players
PICTURE FORMAT: 1080i
SOUND: 2.0 & 5.1 PCM
“as flames rage over the opening cast credits, Sir Charles Mackerras conducts an incandescent Overture which kindles the brilliance, clarity and indefatigable energy of his music direction throughout. This film powerfully captures the fiery essence of Francesco Zambello's production for the Royal Opera. ...consistently strongly cast, it's as good for the ear as for the eye. Zambello makes Simon Keenlyside's harsh and diabolical Don Giovanni and Kyle Ketelsen's embittered Leporello a double-act of deadly dependency.”” BBC Music Magazine, June 2009 *****
“This is eminently listenable and surprisingly viewable – 'surprisingly' because complaints were commonly heard concerning the production.
It's not particularly edifying to see so much of Simon Keenlyside's torso or to have Giovanni taking his last supper in shorts, but by modern standards it's almost tasteful. And the singing is almost uniformly fine. If one of the cast is to be named above the rest, that should be Joyce DiDonato, an outstandingly accomplished Elvira, brilliantly projected, interestingly conceived, her singing concentrated in tone. Marina Poplavskaya's Anna is both dignified and sympathetic, and she too has remarkable command of the necessary technique. Yet the voice itself doesn't serve quite as well as one might have hoped, wanting more heft in 'Or sai chi l'onore' and more ease of passage in 'Non mi dir'. Miah Persson is an adorable Zerlina, and one liked what she and others were encouraged to do by way of vocal ornamentation.
Of the men, Giovanni is the least tested vocally though it's all to the good if he can turn a serenade as ingratiatingly as Keenlyside does. Ramón Vargas hardly looks a suitable lover for this Donna Anna but he sings both arias like the admirably reliable and gifted artist he is and has been for a good many years now. The Masetto looks rather too like the Leporello but that hardly matters and both deserve their applause. The Commendatore's uneven voice production does matter in spite of his sonorous bass notes and imposing stage presence. Mackerras at the helm is such a reassuringly familiar and well loved figure that we may be tempted to take him for granted. Happily the Covent Garden audience shows every sign of appreciation and the final curtain-call is deservedly his.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“If one of the cast it to be named above the rest, that should be Joyce DiDonato, an outstandingly accomplished Elvira, brilliantly projected, interestingly conceived, her singing concentrated in tone. Miah Persson is an adorable Zerlina, and I liked what she and others were encouraged to do by way of vocal ornamentation. Of the men, Giovanni is the least tested vocally though it's all to the good if he can turn a serenade as ingratiatingly as Keenlyside does. Mackerras at the helm is such a reassuringly familiar and well loved figure that we may be tempted to take him for granted.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009
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Bizet: The Pearl Fishers (highlights)
Bizet’s exotic opera The Pearl Fishers is now released on the Chandos Opera in English label. Although not as well-known as Bizet’s Carmen, The Pearl Fishers contains a wealth of attractive music, including the well-known duet ‘Au fond du Temple saint’, one of the UK’s ‘favourite tunes’. There is surely no better way of discovering the jewels of this romantic work than listening to the superb voices of Rebecca Evans, Barry Banks, Simon Keenlyside, and Alastair Miles.
A leading interpreter of the bel-canto repertoire, internationally renowned for his conducting of operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, the Australian Brad Cohen here makes his debut on Chandos. He first came to public attention when, a year after winning the 1994 Leeds Conductor’s Competition, he conducted the world premiere of Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face. Since that promising beginning he has conducted a wide-ranging repertoire at English National Opera, Opera Australia and Opera North, to name but a few. This recording is the first to use Cohen’s own edition of The Pearl Fishers. Cohen was able to secure the original conductor’s score from 1863 and has created a new version, published by Peters Edition, that is arguably much closer to Bizet’s intentions.
The soprano Rebecca Evans takes the role of Leila. Her previous appearances on OiE include the role of Gretel in the Grammy-Award-winning Hansel and Gretel. ‘It was Rebecca Evans’s Gretel who took the honours. Spinning out radiant lines of delicious purity, she made it hard to see how the role could be sung better’, wrote The Times.
The baritone Simon Keenlyside, who takes the role of Zurga, has previously appeared on Chandos’s The Magic Flute. Both Barry Banks and Alastair Miles have recorded discs of arias for Chandos and here take the roles of Nadir and Nourabad, respectively.
“Au fond du temple saint' has long been a favourite in the recording studio. Barry Banks and Simon Keenlyside, singing the aria in English… do Bizet proud. Banks and Rebecca Evans as the priestess Leïla make the most of their seductive Act II number 'Leïla! Leïla!'. And when Leïla begs Zurga to spare his rival's life Keenlyside makes 'I would speak but I cannot' into a genuine feast.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 ***
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
My Heart Alone
Favorite Operetta Arias and Duets
My Heart Alone is the new recording from Austrian mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager and British baritone Simon Keenlyside, and proves that Operetta is still alive. Both singers are highly respected in the fields of opera and Lieder recital, and have appeared several times as a partnership, notably in the title roles in Pelléas et Mélisande at the Salzburg Easter Festival and at Covent Garden, where they have been feted as the dream couple of the opera world.
This is the duo’s first Operetta recording, following in the great tradition of famous opera singers like Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Fritz Wunderlich and Hermann Prey, whose careers blossomed beyond the opera stage. The choice of repertoire for this programme ranges widely from the golden age to the silver age, and includes gems from Die Fledermaus and Die Tänzerin Fanny Elssler by the father of Viennese operetta and waltz king Johann Strauss, as well as titles from popular works such as Franz von Suppé's masterwork Boccaccio and Franz Léhar's Merry Widow. The duet Nur die Liebe macht uns jung from Franz Léhar's Zigeunerliebe however, is an absolute rarity.
“Keenlyside sings operetta like a student, learning the ropes, too quick to pitch volume and intensity at a level fit for Verdi, but not the sweetmeats of Vienna...Best to concentrate on Kirchschlager, who is frequently marvellous. As an Austrian, the operetta lilt lives in Kirchschlager’s blood; she’s a natural at pausing and easing the speeds, and she sings with that indefinable glow.” The Times, 4th July 2008 ***
“Kirchschlager tries too hard as the dissolute Orlofsky ( Die Fledermaus ) but makes amends with a tenderly phrased "Vilja" and a sinuous, seductive "Meine Lippen, die küssen so heiss" from Lehár's Giuditta. Simon Keenlyside, in glorious voice, is by turns dulcet and virile, even if he doesn't quite muster the insouciant charm of a Nicolai Gedda for Danilo's "Da geh' ich zu Maxim". Drawbacks include some distinctly schmaltzy accompaniments and a booklet long on pretentious waffle but criminally short on texts and translations.” The Telegraph, 2nd August 2008
“What impresses is not only the natural brilliance of the singers' vocal production but also the way in which pure display is subordinated to expression of true feeling.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2008
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Extras include an exclusive 30-minute interview with Maazel.
Debut DVD release of Lorin Maazel's opera based on George Orwell's famous novel. Filmed in High Definition. The debut DVD release of Lorin Maazel's new opera, based on George Orwell's dystopian novel, one of the most famous novels of the 20th century. Premiered at Covent Garden in 2005, where it was conducted by the composer and filmed in High Definition. The producer was Robert Lepage, whose highly-praised, visually-stunning production is gripping and at times terrifying. This release is timed to coincide with the run of the same production at La Scala in May 2008.
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Simon Keenlyside (Orfeo), Juanita Lascarro (Euridice, la Musica, Eco), Graciela Oddone (la Messaggiera), Martina Dike (Proserpina), Stephen Wallace (la Speranza, Pastore), Tomas Tòmasson (Plutone), Paul Gérimon, Caronte (Pastore), Mauro Utzeri (Apollo), Anne Cambier (Ninfa), Yann Beuron, John Bowen, René Linnenbank (Pastori, Spiriti)
Trisha Brown Company
Concerto Vocale, Collegium Vocale Gent, René Jacobs
First seen at La Monnaie in Brussels on 13 May 1998, this production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo seen through the eyes of Trisha Brown and René Jacobs has become an operatic classic in a few short years.
This is doubtless because it offers a total symbiosis of music, text and movement – described by the critic of the Daily Telegraph of London as being ‘as close to the perfect dance opera as I have ever seen’.
Or to quote Gilles Macassar in Télérama: ‘In the pit and onstage, the Brussels production has only one watchword: mobility, nimbleness, dexterity. The singers run, fly, whirl like dancers defying gravity. From the flies down to the footlights, the whole theatre is under a fantastic spell.’ For Christophe Vetter, on ConcertoNet: ‘This Orfeo can be seen again and again with immense pleasure. . . . René Jacobs’s conducting continues to arouse admiration for its precision, its stylistic rigour, its inexhaustible inventiveness and its feeling for the contrasts so vital to this repertoire.’
“Monteverdi's Orfeo has many rivals and needs special reasons for us to see it again. One is the tremendous vocal cast - especially the lithe and mercurial Orfeo (Simon Keenlyside), the searingly affecting Messenger (Graciela Oddone) and sonorous Simon Gérmon as Caronte.” BBC Music Magazine
“close to perfection in terms of casting...you're never quite sure whether L'Orfeo is a dance work being sung or an opera being danced. At the heart of this production is a quite magnificent performance by Simon Keenlyside as an Orpheus who really could have charmed the gods. He can also act and dance.” Opera Now, Summer 2011
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