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A red hot ticket at the Metropolitan Opera in 2010/2011 was Donizetti’s comic gem, Don Pasquale, with Anna Netrebko reviving Norina, the part that made her a star in New York. Opera summed up the simple truth: “. . . everyone adored her”.
John Del Carlo’s impressive singing and acting chops as the Don are given every boost by Otto Schenk’s hilarious staging and James Levine’s witty conducting. Leading this opera for the first time at the Met, the renowned maestro demonstrates that his gifts suit Donizetti as perfectly as Wagner. Mariusz Kwiecień and Matthew Polenzani scintillate as Malatesta and Ernesto.
When Norina slaps Pasquale, the old man sees how deluded he has been to believe that the young beauty loves him. The San Francisco Chronicle paid homage to this turning point thus: “Netrebko captures the moment that gives the opera a heart it otherwise would lack”.
Filmed in November 2010, the DVD features backstage intermission interviews caught during the hubbub of performance.
“Donizetti's modest little domestic comedy almost sinks under the weight of such production values. That is stays afloat is a tribute to Netrebko who unleashes some fearsome coloratura; and to John de Carlo and Marius Kwiecien, who deliver 'Cheti, cheti, immantinente' with the speed of a Bugatti at full throttle.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2011 ****
“With its huge sets and period costumes, Otto Schenk's 2006 production looks like a good old-fashioned Met warhorse, but it still has enough amusing choreography and dramatic truth to keep things ticking along nicely. Anna Netrebko steals the show both vocally and theatrically...but tenor Matthew Polenzani is also terrific as her lover...Levine's conducting is spirited.” Classic FM Magazine, September 2011 ***
“[Netrebko] is alert to every note and movement, the voice bigger than the usual soubrette we get in this part, and her top notes gleam...Kwiecien is the ideal playmate for Netrebko: their sounds and styles blend perfectly; both ooze charm...Polenzani's smooth delivery, sweet tone and utter sincerity make him a valuable asset...it's clear that James Levine has the measure of this often witty, occasionally ravishing score.” International Record Review, July/August 2011
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Having dazzled opera audiences from St. Petersburg to L.A. as Lucia, Anna Netrebko triumphantly returns to the Metropolitan Opera in this touchstone coloratura role. Mariusz Kwiecien’s Enrico delivers theatrical truth with a matchless baritone, the lustre of polished mahagony.
This Met performance of director Mary Zimmerman’s “imaginative staging . . . And nuanced portrayals” (Times) is a tour de force of music and theatricality.
STEREO: PCM / SURROUND: DTS 5.1
Picture Format: 16:9
“Director Mary Zimmerman's… offers a Victorian gloss on the drama… which adds a fresh and fascinating resonance. This is reinforced by the filming, often steeply angled from front stage, and enjoys uncommonly strong choral and orchestral support.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2010 ***
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Valery Gergiev chose to perform this work at his final concerts as principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. This memorable event – the finale of an era in the life of the conductor as well as in the history of the orchestra – was captured on film, and is now being released on DVD. For the performances, and recording, of this work, in which the choir plays a central role, the orchestra invited the renowned Swedish Radio Choir, as well as the soloists Solveig Kringelborn and Mariusz Kwiecien.
Live recording made on 25th May 2008 at de Doelen Concert Hall, Rotterdam, for Valery Gergiev’s final concert as principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
“This is a very deeply felt account, sung and played and directed by Gergiev with intense conviction...Mariusz Kwiecien is an authoritative baritone, Solveig Kringelborn meltingly maternal in her solo.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2010 ****
“this performance is successful through its fundamental seriousness and earnest commitment. The Swedish Radio Choir, on which so much in this piece depends, is splendid. Anyone who has not heard the Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien should try to do so at the earliest opportunity. He's a solid musician who sings naturally and effortlessly” International Record Review, September 2010
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Mariusz Kwiecien (Onegin), Makvala Kasrashvili (Madame Larina), Tatiana Monogarova (Tatiana), Margarita Mamsirova (Olga), Emma Sarkisyan (Filippievna, the nurse), Andrei Dunaev (Lensky), Anatoli Kotscherga (Prince Gremin) & Valery Gilmanov (Zaretsky)
Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra & Chorus, Alexander Vedernikov
Direction & Sets: Dmitri Tcherniakov
Bonus: Onegin at the Palais Garnier
Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, recognised as one of the leading baritones before the public today, opened the 2008-2009 season in Paris with his Bolshoi Theatre debut, performing the title role in Eugene Onegin, which he reprised later in the season with the Bavarian State Opera, replacing an indisposed Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Last Autumn he performed the title role in Don Giovanni at Covent Garden, followed by Enrico in Lucia and Marcello at the Met, where he appears frequently. Future engagements include a new production of Szymanowski's King Roger at the Bastille in June and July 2009 and Count Almaviva at Covent Garden in June 2010.
"Kwiecien is scoring a triumph in the title role, a part everywhere identified with his immediate predecessor, Siberian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky…Kwiecien commands the stage with his good looks, rich and resonant voice and the volatile intensity with which he throws himself into the role of the aloof Russian playboy." Chicago Tribune
“Tatiana Monogarova is a particularly lovely Tatiana, her warmly vibrant voice fresh as her touchingly beautiful face and well cared-for as her slender, graceful figure. The Lenski, Andrey Dunaev, is a credit to the line of Russian lyric tenors he now represents, his tone ingratiating...” Gramophone Magazine, September 2009
“With the first two Acts hermetically sealed in a Russian dining room - modern-dress, in essence timeless - nearly everything the main characters do and feel is overseen by the chorus of house-guests. The intelligent principals selflessly support Tcherniakov's vision. Tatiana Monogarova's...phrases what is more a Mad than a Letter Scene beautifully. The solution to the duel is controversial but powerful, the heart of a superb Russian production.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2009 ****
“Musically it's very fine... Kwiecien, all hauteur and failing self-control, is one of the finest Onegins you will ever see, and the final scene is extraordinary…” The Guardian, 11th December 2009 ***
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