Susanne Resmark

Mezzo-Soprano

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Rossini: Le Comte Ory

Rossini: Le Comte Ory


Production by Bartlett Sher; recorded in 2011

In spring 2011, the first-ever performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera of Rossini's Le Comte Ory brought standing ovations and critical-acclaim. The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ignited vocal and theatrical fireworks.

Le Comte Ory tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun ("Sister Colette") in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades. The 2011 Met production was directed by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffman for the Met. Sher presented the action as an opera within an opera, updated the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear. Juan Diego Florez starred as the title role while Diana Damrau plays his love interest, Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato was in breeches as his pageboy Isolier. The trio had appeared in Sher's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.

The New York Times praised "the terrific cast", citing Damrau's "lustrous, agile coloratura soprano voice, and charisma galore" and describing how DiDonato, "who sang with plush sound and impeccable passagework, sent top notes soaring and conveyed all the swagger of a smitten page."

The Financial Times named Florez, "a bel-canto paragon virtually without peer. He attacks and/or floats top tones with laughing ease, phrases with slender grace and exudes charm even when impersonating a singing nun". The Wall Street Journal said: "It was a treat to hear Mr. Florez navigate the vocal extremes of the role, popping out high C's while adopting a rascally but winning demeanor."

Conducted with verve and finesse by Rossini specialist Maurizio Benini, the production also features the stylish French baritone Stephane Degout as Ory's bibulous conspirator Raimbaud (quite a change from his previous Met role - Debussy's gentle Pelleas), charismatic Italian bass Michele Pertusi as the Count's long-suffering Tutor, and, formidable as Adele's housekeeper Ragonde, the Swedish dramatic mezzo Susanne Resmark.

“Sher's production is wise, witty and completely faithful to the spirit of the piece...Damrau is peerless, giving a bravura comic performance made from winks and nudges, heavy theatrical sighing and a heaving bosom. Rossini's music might have been written for her diamond-bright coloratura and gravity-defying top notes. Joyce DiDonato is equally fine...And who could ask for a more winning Ory than Juan Diego Florez?...Delicious.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012

“Not since Juan Oncina at Glyndebourne in the 1950s has there been a singer better able to cope with the phallocentric Count's stratospheric billings and cooings than Juan Diego Florez. Diana Damrau, a coloratura possessed of breeding as well as presence, makes a superb Countess Adele, and the irrepressible Joyce DiDonato gives a properly testosterone-fuelled performance...Benini directs the Met's Rolls Royce pit band with brisk efficiency.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

“What a cast the Met has put together!...[Florez is] handsome, sly and tonally easy...[Damrau] acts with just the right oxymoronic ladylike lust...there seems to be nothing [DiDonato's] voice cannot do and she moves as if she owns the stage...Benini managed to keep the many disparate parts together and leads with great consideration for the singers.” International Record Review, June 2012

“the Met have assembled a real dream-team here. Diana Damrau’s fulsome Countess exudes an almost Carry-On-style naughtiness under her regal veneer, Joyce DiDonato is swashbucklingly ebullient as the Count’s page and Juan Diego Flórez...is all rakish insouciance...Shades of Blackadder and Monty Python? Undoubtedly. Scintillating singing and knockabout good fun? See my previous answer.” Presto Classical, 9th April 2012

Blu-ray Disc

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Erato - 2564605450

(Blu-ray)

$19.50

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Rossini: Le Comte Ory

Rossini: Le Comte Ory


Production by Bartlett Sher; recorded in 2011

In spring 2011, the first-ever performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera of Rossini's Le Comte Ory brought standing ovations and critical-acclaim. The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ignited vocal and theatrical fireworks.

Le Comte Ory tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun ("Sister Colette") in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades. The 2011 Met production was directed by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffman for the Met. Sher presented the action as an opera within an opera, updated the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear. Juan Diego Florez starred as the title role while Diana Damrau plays his love interest, Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato was in breeches as his pageboy Isolier. The trio had appeared in Sher's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.

The New York Times praised "the terrific cast", citing Damrau's "lustrous, agile coloratura soprano voice, and charisma galore" and describing how DiDonato, "who sang with plush sound and impeccable passagework, sent top notes soaring and conveyed all the swagger of a smitten page."

The Financial Times named Florez, "a bel-canto paragon virtually without peer. He attacks and/or floats top tones with laughing ease, phrases with slender grace and exudes charm even when impersonating a singing nun". The Wall Street Journal said: "It was a treat to hear Mr. Florez navigate the vocal extremes of the role, popping out high C's while adopting a rascally but winning demeanor."

Conducted with verve and finesse by Rossini specialist Maurizio Benini, the production also features the stylish French baritone Stephane Degout as Ory's bibulous conspirator Raimbaud (quite a change from his previous Met role - Debussy's gentle Pelleas), charismatic Italian bass Michele Pertusi as the Count's long-suffering Tutor, and, formidable as Adele's housekeeper Ragonde, the Swedish dramatic mezzo Susanne Resmark.

“Sher's production is wise, witty and completely faithful to the spirit of the piece...Damrau is peerless, giving a bravura comic performance made from winks and nudges, heavy theatrical sighing and a heaving bosom. Rossini's music might have been written for her diamond-bright coloratura and gravity-defying top notes. Joyce DiDonato is equally fine...And who could ask for a more winning Ory than Juan Diego Florez?...Delicious.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2012

“Not since Juan Oncina at Glyndebourne in the 1950s has there been a singer better able to cope with the phallocentric Count's stratospheric billings and cooings than Juan Diego Florez. Diana Damrau, a coloratura possessed of breeding as well as presence, makes a superb Countess Adele, and the irrepressible Joyce DiDonato gives a properly testosterone-fuelled performance...Benini directs the Met's Rolls Royce pit band with brisk efficiency.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

“What a cast the Met has put together!...[Florez is] handsome, sly and tonally easy...[Damrau] acts with just the right oxymoronic ladylike lust...there seems to be nothing [DiDonato's] voice cannot do and she moves as if she owns the stage...Benini managed to keep the many disparate parts together and leads with great consideration for the singers.” International Record Review, June 2012

“The purity and lightness of Flórez’s voice is astounding...If we ever hear another Ory as good as this then I’ll be very surprised... the sheer security of [DiDonato's] tone is a marvel to behold...Damrau has less form in the bel canto repertoire, but she takes to the virtuoso role of the Countess like a duck to water.” MusicWeb International, July 2012

“the Met have assembled a real dream-team here. Diana Damrau’s fulsome Countess exudes an almost Carry-On-style naughtiness under her regal veneer, Joyce DiDonato is swashbucklingly ebullient as the Count’s page and Juan Diego Flórez...is all rakish insouciance...Shades of Blackadder and Monty Python? Undoubtedly. Scintillating singing and knockabout good fun? See my previous answer.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 9th April 2012

Presto Disc of the Week

9th April 2012

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Erato - 0709599

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$21.00

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Filmed in HD at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), 03/2010


Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force), Susan Gritton (Blanche de la Force), Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force), Sylvie Brunet (Madame de Croissy), Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mère Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Soeur Constance), Heike Grötzinger (Mère Jeanne) & Anaïk Morel (Soeur Mathilde)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano

Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

Costumes Elena Zaytseva, Lighting Gleb Filshtinsky

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aixen-Provence.

The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter.

Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Duration : 146 minutes

Subtitles : Fr, Eng, Ger, Spa

Colour 16/9, NTSC

PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

“[the production is] set in a soulless authoritarian state but filmed in a way that underlines individual dilemmas and common humanity. It is worth watching for Sylvie Brunet’s doughty Madame de Croissy, Soile Isokoski’s gracious Madame Lidoine and Susan Gritton’s winning Blanche.” Financial Times, 4th June 2011 ***

“Tcherniakov's production is probably the most physically active Dialogues ever staged. Everyone is seemingly in constant motion...Sylvie Brunet is a memorably formidable and pitiable Croissy...Helen Guilmette's Constance, lively but never cloying or cute, is immeasurably enhanced by heavenly floated pianissimi...Isokoski, suitably dignified in her role, is in ravishing voice.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Bel Air Classiques - BAC061

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Filmed in HD at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Munich), 03/2010


Alain Vernhes (Marquis de la Force), Susan Gritton (Blanche de la Force), Bernard Richter (Chevalier de la Force), Sylvie Brunet (Madame de Croissy), Soile Isokoski (Madame Lidoine), Susanne Resmark (Mère Marie), Hélène Guilmette (Soeur Constance), Heike Grötzinger (Mère Jeanne) & Anaïk Morel (Soeur Mathilde)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester & Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Kent Nagano

Stage direction and set design: Dmitri Tcherniakov

Costumes Elena Zaytseva, Lighting Gleb Filshtinsky

A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aixen-Provence.

The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter.

Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips – he recorded a landmark version some years ago – is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Subtitles : Fr, Eng, Ger, Spa

Colour 1080i HD, 16/9

PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio

“[the production is] set in a soulless authoritarian state but filmed in a way that underlines individual dilemmas and common humanity. It is worth watching for Sylvie Brunet’s doughty Madame de Croissy, Soile Isokoski’s gracious Madame Lidoine and Susan Gritton’s winning Blanche.” Financial Times, 4th June 2011 ***

“Tcherniakov's production is probably the most physically active Dialogues ever staged. Everyone is seemingly in constant motion...Sylvie Brunet is a memorably formidable and pitiable Croissy...Helen Guilmette's Constance, lively but never cloying or cute, is immeasurably enhanced by heavenly floated pianissimi...Isokoski, suitably dignified in her role, is in ravishing voice.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Nielsen: Saul & David

Nielsen: Saul & David


Johan Reuter (Saul), Ann Petersen (Mikal), Morten Staugaard (Samuel), Susanne Resmark (Witch of Endor), Leif Jone Ølberg (Abner), Signe Sneh Schreiber (Abishai), Niels-Jorgen Riis (David), Michael Kristensen (Jonathan)

The Royal Danish Orchestra & The Royal Danish Opera Chorus, Michael Schønwandt

This DVD presents a spectacular new production of Carl Nielsen's dramatic debut opera, Saul & David from 1901 - a production marking the Royal Danish Opera’s celebration of the composer's 150th anniversary in 2015.

King Saul, bitterly jealous of young David, who won the favour of the people by defeating the giant Goliath, is staged in a highly original fashion by acclaimed English director and Nielsen enthusiast David Pountney, who updates the Biblical story to our own time, lending it psychological and political undertones.

The performance is conducted by Nielsen expert Michael Schønwandt and presents an array of Denmark's leading singers with Johan Reuter in the demanding role of King Saul, Niels-Jørgen Riis as David and Ann Petersen as his beloved Mikal.

“Johan Reuter is overwhelmingly good in what may be the best role of his life.” Opernwelt

“The renowned Nielsen interpreter Michael Schønwandt conducted with great love for the music that never smothered it: drawing warm and polished playing from the orchestra, he gave the impression of really channeling and shaping the music as it pulsed through him” Opera Magazine

Total duration: 2h 12min (132 minutes)

Booklet essays by director David Pountney and Nielsen scholar Knud Ketting

“a riveting performance by Johan Reuter in both voice and acted intensity...Pountney's direction and the conducting of Michael Schonwandt help make much of characters who might easily remain sinecures...Orchestra and conductor unroll their home composer's score with richness and dexterity...Hugely recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

“Michael Schønwandt's expansive conducting conveys its epic scale and lyrical sweep…[Johann Reuter is] excellent here…his stage presence, arrogant yet vulnerable, is compelling. Niels-Jorgen Riis sings and portrays David more ardently than most…[and] Michael Kristensen makes a stronger than usual impression as the put-upon Jonathan…this is a strong performance which works well on screen.” BBC Music Magazine ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - March 2016

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Dacapo - 2110412

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$29.50

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Klenau: Symphony No. 9

Klenau: Symphony No. 9


Cornelia Ptassek (soprano), Susanne Resmark (alto), Michael Weinius (tenor) & Steffen Bruun (bass)

Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt

Paul von Klenau’s (1883-1946) grandiose Ninth Symphony in eight movements was composed in Copenhagen 1945 as his last major work; an extraordinary fusion of a Requiem with Latin text and a traditional symphony for orchestra, choir and four soloists. The manuscript then lay unknown for more than fifty years until it appeared in the 2001 discovery of a large collection of Klenau manuscripts in Vienna, and not until March 2014 – after a thorough editing by The Royal Library in Copenhagen – did it receive its first performance by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Schønwandt. This world premiere recording presents the full symphony; a magnificent opus of both tonal, atonal and even twelve-tone passages, very far removed from the style that predominated in the post-Nielsen Danish music of the 1940s.

“Bravo to these musicians for giving the piece every chance. Excellent playing, good choral singing and excellent contributions from the inimitable Susanne Resmark…and open-voiced tenor Michael Weinius” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“full of terrific ideas throughout its long length in this premiere performance from Michael Schønwandt and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra with the Danish National Concert Choir and soloists” MusicWeb International, June 2016

Dacapo - 8226098-99

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.00

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Langgaard, R: Antikrist

Langgaard, R: Antikrist

Sung in Danish


Sten Byriel (bass), Anne Margrethe Dahl (soprano), Poul Elming (tenor), John Lundgren (baritone), Camilla Nylund (soprano) & Susanne Resmark (mezzo-soprano)

Danish National Choir & Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard

Region Code: ABC

Subtitles: English, German and French

Dacapo's very first Blu-ray production features Rued Langgaard's powerful vision of the coming of Antikrist in the spectacular co-production with the Royal Danish Opera and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) from 2002.

No punches are pulled as the composer's breathtaking revelation unfolds with its intriguing allegorical characters and its powerful statement about the moral decay of modern society.

“Langgaard’s Antikrist is fabulous – a genuine, undiscovered, eccentric masterpiece.” Classics Today

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Dacapo - 2110409BD

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


Aage Haugland (Jeronimus), Bo Skovhus (Henrik), Christian Christiansen (Tutor), Gert Henning Jensen (Leander), Henriette Bonde-Hansen (Leonora), Johan Reuter (Master of the Masquerade), Johan Reuter (Night Watchman), Kurt Ravn (Leonard), Marianne Rorholm (Pernille), Michael Kristensen (Arv), Susanne Resmark (Magdelone)

Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir, Ulf Schirmer

GGramophone Awards 1999

Winner - 20th-Century Opera

Decca Classic Opera - 4780146

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


 

Bonus material: Introductions to Maskarade, Making of Maskarade

Nielsen:

Maskarade

Sung in Danish


Stephen Milling (Jeronimus), Susanne Resmark (Magdelone), Niels Jørgen Riis (Leander), Johan Reuter (Henrik), Ole Hedegaard (Arv), Poul Elming (Leonard), Gisella Stille (Leonora), Hanne Fischer (Pernille), Sten Byriel (En vægter), Anders Jakobsson (Maskarademester), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (En magister)

The Royal Danish Opera Choir, The Royal Danish Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt

The premiere production was a decided audience success and a more or less unanimous press acknowledged the music as original. “The first act works excellently. After this one would swear that Carl Nielsen was born to write opéra comique. So smooth, so dexterous, such a quick turn of phrase, such aptness in the dialogue, with fine phrases and droll ideas; equally felicitous in the treatment of the text, the singing roles, the instruments of the orchestra. In the craft of music, it is a fully-fledged master who holds the pen; one’s thoughts can only resort to Verdi in ‘Falstaff’ to find a parallel.” Nationaltidende (1906)

Stage directors: Kasper Bech Holten, Morgan Alling & DVD producers: Thorleif Hoppe, Niels Severin

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Dacapo - 2110407

(DVD Video)

$23.50

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Langgaard, R: Antikrist

Langgaard, R: Antikrist

Antikrist is a religious mystery opera, a magnificent doomsday vision and a full length nightmare. No punches are pulled as the composer’s breathtaking revelation unfolds with its intriguing allegorical characters and its powerful statement about the moral decay of modern society.


Sten Byriel (bass), Anne Margrethe Dahl (soprano), Helene Gjerris (soprano), Poul Elming (tenor), Johnny van Hal (tenor), Jon Ketilsson (tenor), John Lundgren (baritone), Camilla Nylund (soprano) & Susanne Resmark (mezzo-soprano)

Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choirs, Thomas Dausdaard

“Langgaard’s Antikrist is fabulous – a genuine, undiscovered, eccentric masterpiece” Classics Today

Super Audio CD

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Hybrid Multi-channel

Dacapo - 6220523-24

(SACD - 2 discs)

$30.00

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