Laurent Naouri

Baritone

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Rameau: Platée

Rameau: Platée

Live Recording from The Opéra National De Paris, 2002


Paul Agnew (Platée), Mireille Delunsch (La Folie, Thalie), Yann Beuron (Thespis, Mercure), Vincent Le Texier (Jupiter) & Laurent Naouri (Cithéron)

Les Musiciens Du Louvre – Grenoble, Marc Minkowski (conductor) & Laurent Pelly (stage director)

SPECIAL BLU-RAY RELEASE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU ON 12 SEPTEMBER 2014.

This Opéra de Paris staging of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s burlesque on the vicissitudes of love, is a “pure joy from start to splashing finish” (Wall Street Journal Europe).

“Laurent Pelly’s staging of Platée is an exhilarating display of gags and West Side Story dance routines mixed in with satirical rap... Marc Minkowski conducting the excellent Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble was the instigator of a sparkling orchestral fête” (Opera Now). The enthusiastic cast is led by Paul Agnew in the title role and Mireille Delunsch, who provides one of the many musical highlights with La Folie’s famous bravura aria.

In the realm of the ancient gods, Mercure and Cithéron persuade Jupiter that he can cure his wife Junon’s obsessive jealousy by setting up a mock marriage between himself and Platée, an astonishingly ugly but supremely self-confi dent marsh nymph who rules a realm of frogs. Rameau uses Jupiter’s feigned courtship of Platée to gleefully parody every eighteenth-century musical convention in the book, as the music gurgles, hiccups, croaks and brays.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 16:9

Blu-ray Disc: 25 GB (Single Layer)

Resolution: 1080/60i (Upscale)

Subtitle Languages: FR (Original Language), GB, DE, ES, IT

Running Time: 150 mins

FSK: 0

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

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Arthaus Musik - 108132

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Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann

Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann


Michael Spyres (Hoffmann), Kathleen Kim (Olympia), Natalie Dessay (Antonia), Tatiana Pavlovskaya (Giulietta), Michèle Losier (La muse, Nicklausse), Laurent Naouri (Lindorf, Coppélius, Docteur Miracle, Dapertutto), Manel Esteve (Spalanzani), Carlos Chausson (Crespel), Isaac Galán (Peter Schlémil), Francisco Vas (Andrès, Cochenille, Frantz, Pitichinaccio)

Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Stéphane Denève (conductor) & Laurent Pelly (stage director)

Warner Classics & Erato DVD catalogue already contains several characteristically stylish and imaginative productions by the French opera director Laurent Pelly: Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Massenet’s Cendrillon, Donizetti’s La Fille du régiment, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The last three all star Natalie Dessay, and now she and Pelly are reunited once again, this time for Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, staged at Barcelona’s Liceu opera house in early 2013.

Based on the stories of the influential German writer ETA Hoffmann, filled with magic, dark humour and grotesquerie, Les Contes d’Hoffmann has a complex structure with three acts in ‘flashback’ as the drunken poet Hoffmann recalls three unhappy love affairs.The opera itself has a complex history too, since Offenbach died before completing it, and it exists in a number of editions. This performance used the version prepared by Michael Kaye and Jean-Christophe Keck, which has been welcomed for its dramatic power. As the Los Angeles Daily News said: “Kaye’s edition clarifies, intensifies, redefines and transforms Hoffmann into a more unified and ultimately more powerful work.”

Pelly’s production looks unusually dark and sober, while the monumental elements of the decor move smoothly around the singers, dominating them in sinister fashion. The staging has also been in seen in San Francisco, where it was greeted thus by Opera Today: “Pelly’s production is magnificent, making E.T.A. Hoffmann’s short horror stories into a dream fantasy where anything real becomes surreal, where anything physical is ephemeral ... Images appear and disappear without a logic, as stream-of-unconscious. Pelly’s conceit is based on the Olympia episode ... where magic dissolves into stagecraft when Olympia [an animated doll rather than a real woman] is revealed as a manipulation of three stagehands. We then become conscious that the continuous flow of images is effected by the most basic level of stage mechanics — men pushing scenery and men pulling ropes. And we become even more amazed by the intelligence behind the when and how of it all. It is a diabolical staging in an opera where there is nothing but diabolical manipulation of ... nothing.”

Natalie Dessay takes the role of Antonia, Hoffmann’s beloved in the most substantial and tragic of the three episodes, bringing her delicate presence and immaculate French style to the character of a young, physically fragile woman whose talent – singing – is finally fatal to her. The automaton Olympia is sung by the charming coloratura soprano Kathleen Kim, who rose to fame in the role at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. Hoffmann’s third love, the Venetian courtesan Giulietta is embodied by the sensual mezzo-soprano Tatiana Pavlovskaya, and his loyal friend Nicklausse by another mezzo-soprano, the elegant Canadian singer Michèle Losier. Hoffmann’s nemesis, who takes the form of four different characters, is incarnated by the superb French bass-baritone Laurent Naouri, while Hoffmann himself is the young American tenor Michael Spyres, who has shot to prominence over recent seasons with his prowess in 19th century French opera and bel canto. The conductor is Stéphane Denève, of whom the British critic David Nice, writing for The Arts Desk, recently said: “I can honestly say there’s no conductor alive I’d rather hear in French music.”

Region-free NTSC (compatible with all modern PAL players)

Audio 5.1, Stereo / 16:9

Subtitles: French, German, English, Italian, Spanish, Catalan

“Pelly's production...is straightforward: no gimmicks...The women are all good...If Michael Spyres doesn't have quite enough heft, his portrayal of the title-role, dishevelled or elegant, carries conviction. Laurent Naouri is outstanding as the villains. Stéphane Denève whips up the excitement where required.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2014

“The production belongs to Laurent Naouri who finds something truly distinctive in each of his portraits...Dessay is remarkable as Antonia...If Michael Spyres's Hoffmann isn't quite the centre of his own tales envertheless he sounds a properly French tenor. Stephane Denève in the pit keeps the tension rising.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2014 ****

DVD Video

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Format: NTSC

Erato - 2564636914

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$25.00

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Entre elle et lui: Natalie Dessay Sings Michel Legrand

Entre elle et lui: Natalie Dessay Sings Michel Legrand


Legrand:

Chanson de Delphine (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)

Le Cinéma

Chanson de Delphine à Lancien (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)

Papa can you hear me? (from Yentl)

Recette pour un Cake d'Amour (from the movie Peau d'Âne)

La valse des lilas

Les moulins de mon coeur (from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair)

L'âme soeur à l'hameçon

What are you doing the rest of your life?

Chanson des jumelles (from the movie Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)

Le rouge et le noir

Conseil de la Fée Lilas (from the movie Peau d'Âne)

Duo de Guy et Geneviève (from the movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg)

with Laurent Naouri (bass-baritone)

La chanson de Louba

La chanson

Paris Violon

The Summer Knows

Mon dernier concert


Natalie Dessay (soprano) & Catherine Michel (harp), Patricia Petibon (soprano)

After her triumphs in the world’s great opera houses, Natalie Dessay crosses over. A tribute to the legendary Michel Legrand who has scored some of the most famous musical soundtracks.

This autumn, starting in fine fashion with two concerts at Paris’ legendary ‘music hall’ the Olympia, she undertakes a tour of France with the celebrated composer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand.

Legrand trained at the Paris Conservatoire with no less a teacher than Nadia Boulanger and is known around the world for his haunting music for Jacques Demy’s 1964 film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), and for his work in Hollywood, which has brought him three Oscars: for his scores for the 1983 Barbra Streisand film Yentl and the 1971 film The Summer of’42, and for his song, ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’, from the 1968 Steve McQueen movie The Thomas Crown Affair.

Dessay first became aware of Legrand at the age of six or so, when she saw another film directed by Jacques Demy, the fairy tale Peau d’âne. “At the time, I would never have imagined singing with him. Now we are good friends and I am lucky enough to work with him on a regular basis ... I think Michel Legrand is a genius, just as Mozart was a genius. He is also a melodic virtuoso. You hear two notes and you know it’s one of his songs.” Dessay describes popular song as “an art that can demand great refinement. A song like Georges Brassens ‘Saturne’ has as much value, for me, as an opera by Bellini. In opera, you open up and let go. In a popular song, like when your singing German lieder or French art-song, you have to concentrate your voice – to learn to say a lot with less power, especially if you are using a microphone.”

The album that Dessay and Legrand have recorded together is Entre elle et lui (Between Her and Him). With a focus on voice, piano, bass and drums, it includes Legrand’s Oscar-winners, a duet from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg – which brings Dessay together with her husband, the bass-baritone Laurent Naouri, the Lilac Fairy’s song from Peau d’âne (as sung in the film by the enchanting Delphine Seyrig), and the sisters’ sassy duet from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, performed in Jacques Demy’s film by Catherine Deneuve and her real-life sister Françoise Dorléac, but appropriated here (in this) album by Dessay and fellow soprano Patricia Petitbon. A further special guest on the album is the distinguished harpist Catherine Michel, who is also Michel Legrand’s wife.

“Treat yourself or a needy Francophile to this delicious if unlikely combination...She is breathy, sexy, passionate and wonderfully virtuosic in the tongue-twisting Chanson de Delphine...And Windmills of Your Mind sounds so much better in French.” The Times, 16th November 2013 ****

Erato - 9341452

(CD)

$16.50

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Offenbach: Orphée aux Enfers

Offenbach: Orphée aux Enfers


Yann Beuron (Orphée), Natalie Dessay (Euridice), Laurent Naouri (Jupiter), Jean-Paul Fouchecourt (Pluton-Aristée), Ewa Podles (L'Opinion Publique), Patricia Petibon (Cupidon), Jennifer Smith (Diane), Veronique Gens (Vénus), Steven Cole (John Styx), Virginie Pochon (Minerve), Etienne Lescroart (Mercure)

Grenoble Chamber Orchestra & Lyon Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Marc Minkowski

Recording Country: France

Recording Location: 2-5 December 1997, Opera de Lyon

Mix Date: 5 Dec 1997

Executive Producer: Alain Lanceron

Producer: Daniel Zalay

Engineer: Raymond Buttin

Editor: Yves Baudry

“Both the 'earthly' leads are superb: Natalie Dessay's secure, clear coloratura is well employed as the nagging wife...and one feels sorry for her hapless husband, Orphee, amiably characterized by Yann Beuron...From the opening bars, Minkowski's approach is apparent in the sparkling, crystal-clear textures, and he propels the opera along at a tremendous pace and with a bouncing rhythmic bite” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition **/***

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EMI - The Opera Series - 9482332

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $21.25

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Stravinsky - Le Rossignol & Oedipus Rex

Stravinsky - Le Rossignol & Oedipus Rex


Stravinsky:

The Nightingale

Natalie Dessay, Marie McLaughlin, Violeta Urmana

Orchestre et Chœur de l’Opera National de Paris, James Conlon

Renard

Ian Caley, Vsevolod Grivnov, Maxim Mikhailov, Laurent Naouri

Orchestre National de Paris, James Conlon

Oedipus Rex

Anthony Rolfe-Johnson (Oedipus), Marjana Lipovšek(Jocasta)

London Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra, Franz Welser-Möst


The mid-price collection presents some of the most important and admired recordings of the EMI Classics and Virgin Classics catalogue which make EMI 'The Home of Opera'. These performances of Le Rossignol and Oedipus Rex were recorded in 1999 at All Hallows Church, Gospel Oak, London.

“Dessay is stunning, heading a strong cast in this unsurpassed account of The Nightingale.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ****

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EMI - The Opera Series - 4565002

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Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande

Sung in French


Natalie Dessay (Mélisande), Stéphane Degout (Pelléas), Laurent Naouri (Golaud), Philip Ens (Arkel), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Geneviève), Tim Mirfin (Physician/Shepherd), Beate Ritter (Yniold)

Radio-SymphonieOrchester Wien & Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Bertrand De Billy (direction) & Laurent Pelly (stage director)

Premiere at Theater an der Wien /Das Neue Operhaus - January 13, 2009.

Filmed by ORF

Soprano Natalie Dessay leaves the dizzy heights of Bellini’s Amina, Donizetti’s Marie and Massenet’s Manon to inhabit the more discreet emotional and vocal world of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande with a cast of fellow francophones.

“There’s more to life than top notes,” Natalie Dessay has said. She has, of course, made her reputation with the florid, stratospheric heroines of Romantic French and Italian opera, but in this new DVD from Vienna she portrays a heroine who presents few opportunities for vocal display, but many for subtle characterisation – Debussy’s Mélisande. Dessay had sung the role just once before, in concert in Edinburgh in 2005. Pelléas et Mélisande is full of ambiguity and its vocal lines closely reflect Maurice Maeterlink’s often enigmatic text. A few unaccompanied, ballad-like phrases are the closest Mélisande gets to an aria.

For this production, premiered in January 2009 at the Theater an der Wien, Dessay’s French and French-Canadian colleagues included stage director Laurent Pelly -- celebrated for riotous comedy (notably La fille de regiment with Dessay, also a Virgin Classics DVD – and his preferred designer, Chantal Thomas; Dessay’s real-life husband, bass-baritone Laurent Naouri as her jealous stage husband, Golaud; the lyric baritone Stéphane Degout as her Pelléas, and the contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux as his and Golaud’s mother, Geneviève. The high-calibre Gallic line-up was completed by conductor Bertrand de Billy.

Opera News reported: “In a pre-production interview, Dessay admitted that Mélisande poses few vocal challenges, noting that the role lies comfortably enough for both sopranos and lightweight mezzos. Indeed, the role is vocally a good fit for her — splendid, in fact … Every stage direction was scrupulously followed …Naouri, Dessay's real-life husband, particularly commanded the evening with his Golaud — gut-wrenching, magnificently sung and unusually young. For once, it seemed that Golaud and Pelléas really could be half-brothers, and Degout was Naouri's match, singing with gorgeous burnished tone and erotic passion. The magnificent Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, under Bertrand de Billy, dominated the proceedings with a rapturous performance. “

Le Monde wrote that: “The orchestra exuded a subtly poisonous Debussy with a throbbing vein of Wagner, bruised by the Symbolism of Maurice Maeterlinck. Pelly excels in comedy, but here he took Pelléas towards the depths of Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher [a subject explored by Debussy in an unfinished opera]… in Chantal Thomas’ mangrove-swamp décor, with its tall smooth columns (tree trunks or pillars?), shipwrecked remains, stylised rocks and curtains of lianas … With her flowing blue dress and long blonde hair Dessay was indeed like ‘a bird from somewhere else’ [a quotation from the libretto]… Stephane Degout was brimming with vocal sex appeal … Laurent Naouri provided an exemplary portrayal of Golaud.”

The Wiener Zeitung praised Laurent Pelly for bringing “a psychological dimension to the symbolically charged language. At his disposal was an ensemble of singers capable of the most refined interpretation, above all Natalie Dessay … who portrayed her character with the most delicate nuances and verbal flexibility, encompassing both vocal radiance and broken utterance … Billy’s interpretation embraced detail, concentration and intense expanses of sound. He followed the singers’ every word. On the first night the audience cheered singers, orchestras and conductor unreservedly.”

Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Virgin - 6961379

(DVD Video)

$17.00

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Boieldieu: La Dame Blanche

Boieldieu: La Dame Blanche


Rockwell Blake (Georges Brown), Laurent Naouri (Gaveston), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Dickson), Annick Massis (Anna), Mireille Delunsch (Jenny), Sylvie Brunet (Margeurite)

Ensemble Orchestral de Paris & Chœur de Radio France, Marc Minkowski

“Marc Minkowski rescues Boieldieu from the history books in a stylish recording of a minor French Romantic masterpiece. Rockwell Blake and Annick Massis lead a strong cast from the front.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2009 ****

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EMI Opérettes et Opéras comiques - 3951182

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $12.00

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Handel: Arias & Duets (The Anniversary Edition 1759-2009)

Handel: Arias & Duets (The Anniversary Edition 1759-2009)


Handel:

Frondi tenere e belle ... Ombra mai fù (from Serse)

David Daniels (countertenor)

Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment, Roger Norrington

Dove sei, amato bene? (from Rodelinda)

David Daniels (countertenor)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Roger Norrington

Pompe vane di morte! (from Rodelinda)

David Daniels (countertenor)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Roger Norrington

Armida abbandonata: Ma che parlo, che dico

Véronique Gens (soprano)

Les Basses Réunies

Armida abbandonata: In tanti affanni miei

Véronique Gens (soprano)

Les Basses Réunies

Scherzano sul tuo volto (from Rinaldo)

Patrizia Ciofi (soprano) & Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

E vivo ancore?...Scherza, infida (from Ariodante)

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor)

Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori (from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo)

Laurent Naouri baritone (Polifemo), Sandrine Piau soprano (Aci) & Sara Mingardo alto (Galatea)

Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Duetto: Sorge il di Aci/Galatea from Aci, Galatea e Polifemo

Laurent Naouri baritone (Polifemo), Sandrine Piau soprano (Aci) & Sara Mingardo alto (Galatea)

Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Amor, qual nuova fiamma mi risvegli nel core (from Admeto)

René Jacobs alto (Admeto) & Rachel Yakar soprano (Antigona)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

La tigre arde di sdegno (from Admeto)

René Jacobs alto (Admeto) & Rachel Yakar soprano (Antigona)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Per me si strugge (from Admeto)

René Jacobs alto (Admeto) & Rachel Yakar soprano (Antigona)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

E per monti, e per piani, et per selve Antigona (from Admeto, re di Tessaglia)

René Jacobs alto (Admeto) & Rachel Yakar soprano (Antigona)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Hercules: Where shall I fly?

Stephanie Blythe (contralto)

Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson

Splenda l’alba in oriente, cantata, HWV 166

Gérard Lesne (alto)

Il Seminario Musicale

As steals the morn (from L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato)

Ian Bostridge (tenor) & Lynne Dawson (soprano)

Bach Choir & Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, John Nelson

Un pensiero nemico di pace (from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno)

Natalie Dessay (soprano)

Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Fatto scorta al sentier della Gloria (from Arminio)

Vivica Genaux mezzo-soprano (Arminio) & Riccardo Ristori bass (Segeste)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Fiaccherò quel fiero orgoglio (from Arminio)

Vivica Genaux mezzo-soprano (Arminio) & Riccardo Ristori bass (Segeste)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Verdi prati (from Alcina)

Della Jones mezzo-soprano (Ruggiero) & Arleen Auger soprano (Alcina)

City of London Baroque Sinfonia, Richard Hickox

Ombre pallide (from Alcina)

Della Jones mezzo-soprano (Ruggiero) & Arleen Auger soprano (Alcina)

City of London Baroque Sinfonia, Richard Hickox

Duetto: Prendi l’alma e prendi il core Rodrigo/Esilena from Rodrigo

Gloria Banditelli mezzo-soprano (Rodrigo) & Sandrine Piau soprano (Esilena)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Nasconde l’usignol (from Deidamia)

Suzie LeBlanc (soprano) & Derek Lee Ragin (countertenor)

Teatro Lirico, Stephen Stubbs

Nel riposo e nel contento (from Deidamia)

Suzie LeBlanc (soprano) & Derek Lee Ragin (countertenor)

Teatro Lirico, Stephen Stubbs

Della guerra la caccia ha sembianza (from Deidamia)

Simone Kermes soprano (Deidamia), Antonio Abete baritone (Licomede) & Anna Bonitatibus mezzo-soprano (Ulisse)

Il Complesso Barocco, Alan Curtis

Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi, HWV 197

Suzie LeBlanc (soprano) & Derek Lee Ragin (countertenor)

Teatro Lirico, Stephen Stubbs

Se'il mio duol (Rodelinda)

Sophie Daneman (soprano)

The Raglan Baroque Players, Nicholas Kraemer

Caro autor di mia doglia, arcadian duet HWV 182a

Patricia Petibon (soprano) & Paul Agnew (tenor)

Le Concert d’Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm

Cara speme (from Giulio Cesare)

David Daniels (countertenor)

Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment, Roger Norrington

Va tacito e nascosto (from Giulio Cesare)

David Daniels (countertenor)

Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment, Roger Norrington


This ravishing selection of arias and duets is drawn from some of Handel’s finest vocal works, among them the operas Xerxes (source of the famous ‘Largo’), Ariodante, with its gripping ‘Scherza, infida’, and, perhaps his most popular works for the stage, Giulio Cesare and Alcina.

The generously-filled discs (two CDs for the price of one) also include the complete cantata Splenda l’alba in oriente and excerpts the dramatic cantata Armida abbandonata, the English ode L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, and the exquisite Neapolitan serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo.

An international cast of outstanding Handelians includes Philippe Jaroussky, Natalie Dessay, David Daniels, Véronique Gens, Ian Bostridge, Joyce DiDonato, Stephanie Blythe, Janet Baker, Vivica Genaux, Gérard Lesne, James Bowman..

Virgin - 6960352

(CD - 2 discs)

$17.75

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Offenbach: La Vie Parisienne (Paris Life)

Offenbach: La Vie Parisienne (Paris Life)


Marc Callahan (Bobinet), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Raoul de Gardefeu), Maria Riccarda Wesseling (Métella), Laurent Naouri (Le Baron de Gondremarck), Michelle Canniccioni (La Baronne de Gondremarck), Marie Devellereau (Gabrielle), Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (Frick), Jesus Garcia (Le Brésilien)

Chœurs et Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, Sébastien Rouland (conductor) & Laurent Pelly (stage director)

Associate Director Agathe Mélinand

Set designs Chantal Thomas

Costume designs Laurent Pelly

Choreography Laura Scozzi

Lighting Joël Adam

Dialogue adaptation Agathe Mélinand

After La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, and La Fille du régiment, Virgin Classics develops its DVD catalogue with yet a new stage production by renowned director Laurent Pelly (his 3rd for the label) accompanied by his assistant Agathe Mélinand who again adapted the dialogues as in the other productions. Filmed in Lyons during the performances (18th December – 1st January 2008) the production and the cast re-enacted in our moderns times the satirical portrayal of Parisian life in the Second Empire.

The performances were a hit: Laurent Pelly brought to Offenbach’s operetta all the gusto and humour the subject calls for – his staging is wild and frenzied. La Vie parisienne was Offenbach's first full-length piece to portray contemporary Parisian life, unlike his earlier period pieces and mythological subjects. It became one of Offenbach's most popular operettas.

The production brings together on stage a rich cast of singers - of which Laurent Naouri, Natalie Dessay’s husband - from the US, France, Italy and under Sébastien Rouland’s lively baton.

“A popular hit …. Previously overexposed in France, Pelly’s successes abroad have given us a breathing space. It is good to see him back and on such sparkling form. Aided and abetted by his usual high-octane team, Agathe Mélinand for the adapted dialogue and Chantal Thomas for the wonderful sets, Pelly convincingly updates this satire on hedonistic Second Empire morals to the present day.” Financial Times

“The curtain rises on a decidedly modern rebuild of the Gare St-Lazare - so is this Offenbach's operetta or Laurent Pelly's? Pelly, one of the most imaginative of a new generation of French stage directors, has dragged La vie parisienne into our own time. In this stylish production from Lyon Opera, the overture plays over an illuminated map of the Métro, the backdrop in Acts II and III is a Paris street map, and the Brazilian millionaire's bal masqué takes place in a brasserie chicly stuffed with street furniture and a bus. Yet, the music and the libretto are allowed to speak for themselves as loud and clear as they always have done. ...best of all are the servants who masquerade as aristocrats at the Act III dinner to fool Gondremark.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2009 *****

“Both these productions by Laurent Pelly of classic Offenbach opéras-bouffes are somewhat radical in their staging. Neither of them presents the works in a way one would choose to see very often, but they are performed with such vigour and vaudevillian élan that it's hard to resist their appeal.
La vie parisienne was conceived by Offenbach's librettists, Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, as an entertainment for and about the hordes of tourists visiting Paris for the 1867 Exposition Universelle. Pelly and his designer Chantal Thomas update it to the present, so that instead of waiting for the train in Act 1, the two heroes, Bobinet and Raoul de Gardefeu, are in the arrivals section of an international airport. This scene is punctuated by many irritating announcements over the loudspeakers. To a large extent this spoils the scene, so it's a relief when it changes to Raoul's exquisitely minimalist apartment.
Here the action perks up with the arrival of Marie Devellereau as the glove-seller, Gabrielle, and Jean-Paul Fouchécourt as Frick, the bootmaker. The riotous finale, as the tabled'hôte guests are summoned to dinner, really goes with a swing. Best of all is Act 3, when all the girls, impersonating aristocrats, arrive in haute-couture black gowns and march around like catwalk mannequins. In particular, Brigitte Hool as Pauline joins Laurent Naouri as the duped Swedish baron in a splendid account of 'O, beau nuage'. The finale, culminating in the ensemble 'Tout tourne, tout danse' really won me over. The last act is in a somewhat sleazy disco, but again the sheer energy of the dancing and the whole spirit of irreverence is so well caught that one feels like joining in the applause.
Sébastien Rouland leads the orchestra and chorus of the Lyon Opéra in a performance that is true to the spirit, if not the letter, of the work.
Jean-Sébastien Bou and Marc Callahan as Raoul and Bobinet make a terrific pair of womanising socialites, Jesus Garcia a vigorous Brésilien, and in her few moments Michelle Canniccioni is suitably eager as the Baroness out to savour the delights of Paris.
Musically, La Belle Hélène from the Châtelet is a stronger proposition. The production is even more extreme, everything happening as if in the dream of a suburban housewife, played by Dame Felicity Lott with her usual mixture of restraint and comic irony. Everyone is consequently in pyjamas and night attire a lot of the time. (The same recording has been issued on CD from Virgin). Yann Beuron is a salty Paris, and the presence of Michel Sénéchal, François Le Roux and again Laurent Naouri ensures that vocal values triumph over some of the excesses of the production.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Pelly and his designer Chantal Thomas update it to the present, so that instead of waiting for the train in Act 1, the two heroes, Bobinet and Raoul de Gardefeu, are in the arrivals section of an international airport. The finale, culminating in the ensemble "Tout tourne, tout danse" really won me over. The last act is in a somewhat sleazy disco, but again the sheer energy of the dancing and the whole spirit of irreverence is so well caught that one feels like joining in the applause. Sébastian Rouland leads the orchestra and chorus of the Lyon Opéra in a performance that is true to the spirit, if not the letter, of the work.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2009

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Virgin - 5193019

(DVD Video)

$17.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Lamenti

Lamenti


Carissimi:

Lamento della Maria Stuarda

Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)

Cavalli:

Hipparco, e di Climene, Lamento d’Egisto

Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Acate, Ilioneo, Lamento di Enea

Topi Lehtipuu (tenor)

Alle ruine del mio regno, Lamento d’Ecuba e Cassandra

Marie-Nicole Lemieux (alto) & Patrizia Ciofi (soprano)

Cesti:

Dure noie, Lamento d’Atamante

Laurent Naouri (bass-baritone)

Landi, S:

Superbe colli

Christopher Purves (baritone)

Monteverdi:

Lamento della Ninfa (Book 8)

Natalie Dessay (soprano), Simon Wall (tenor), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) & Christopher Purves (baritone)

Lamento d'Arianna 'Lasciatemi morire'

Véronique Gens (soprano)

Addio Roma! (from L'incoronazione di Poppea)

Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano)

Tu se’ morta mia vita, Lamento d’Orfeo

Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Strozzi:

L'Eraclito amoroso 'Udite amanti'

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor)


Le Concert Astrée, Emmanuelle Haim

Emmanuelle Haim follows her 2006 recording of Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with an unusual and inventive programme on the theme of the Lamento, the literary and dramatic form that found its seventeenth-century musical archetype in Monteverdi’s celebrated Lamento d’Arianna.

Emmanuelle Haim has taken great care in choosing 9 soloists to perform these demanding works amongst which Véronique Gens sings the Lamento d’Arianna, the tantalising fragment from Monteverdi’s lost opera of 1608; Natalie Dessay is the abandoned nymph in the very different Lamento della ninfa from the Eighth Book of Madrigals. Alongside these familiar works by Monteverdi the programme includes Philippe Jaroussky in Barbara Strozzi’s dramatic monologue L’Eraclito amoroso, probably written for Strozzi herself, Carissimi’s Lamento di Maria Stuarda (with Patrizia Ciofi) and Strozzi’s teacher Cavalli’s Lamento d’Egisto (with Rolando Villazón, who also sings Orfeo’s Lamento). Joyce DiDonato, recently signed to EMI/Virgin Classics as an exclusive artist, adds Ottavia’s heartrending farewell to Rome from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.

“This all-star cast includes the ravishing Natalie Dessay as Monteverdi's forsaken nymph, Véronique Gens, a proud, desolate Ariadne, and Joyce DiDonato, who sings Octavia's farewell with extraordinary dramatic passion. Much of the interest of this disc lies in its subtleties, Emmanuelle Haïm highlighting telling details...” BBC Music Magazine, November 2008 *****

“Waif-like, driven, messianic or explosive, non-conformist, unruly, either way, the conductor Emmanuelle Haim has enough charisma to draw crowds in her wake. Haim is the most dynamic force to have hit the period movement since the 1970s. She’s a born leader” Financial Times

“Haim’s meteoric rise has been well charted by the press. It’s easy to understand the excitement - her enthusiasm is infectious, her conducting demeanour distinctive, and her knowledge intense.” Gramophone Magazine

“A starry host of singers bring their talents to bear on Haïm's programme” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

“Haim is pure dynamite” The Telegraph

Virgin - 5190442

(CD)

$13.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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