Rosalind Plowright

Soprano

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Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Jonas Kaufmann (Andrea Chénier), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Maddalena de Coigny), Željko Lučić (Carlo Gérard), Denyce Graves (Bersi), Elena Zilio (Madelon), Rosalind Plowright (Contessa de Coigny), Roland Wood (Roucher), Peter Coleman-Wright (Pietro Fléville), Eddie Wade (Fouquier-Tinville), Adrian Clarke (Mathieu), Carlo Bosi (The Incredibile), Peter Hoare (Abbé), Jeremy White (Schmidt), John Cunningham (Major Domo), Yuriy Yurchuk (Dumas)

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Antonio Pappano (conductor & David McVicar (director)

“Kaufmann is performing the title role for the first time, and it’s hard to imagine him bettered. His striking looks make him very much the Romantic and romanticised outsider of Giordano’s vision. His voice, with its dark, liquid tone, soars through the music with refined ease and intensity: all those grand declarations of passion, whether political or erotic, hit home with terrific immediacy.” – The Guardian

Presented in its Covent Garden premiere in January 2015, this staging – directed by David McVicar and conducted by the Royal Opera’s Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano – shows a bloody tricolour daubed with the words “Even Plato banned poets from his Republic” – written by Robespierre on the death warrant of the historical Chénier, a poet and journalist sent to the guillotine in 1794 for criticising France’s post-revolutionary government. Andrea Chénier was a great success at its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896. It established Giordano as a leading member of Italy’s giovane scuola, and has remained Giordano’s most popular opera, with occasional productions at leading opera houses. This production is the first by The Royal Opera since 1984. Of Giordano’s later operas, only Fedora (1898) has attracted some continued interest.

“The Countess de Coigny in sumptuous purple satin is sung to great effect by Rosalind Plowright, as is Elena Zilio’s Madelon…never less than compelling on screen, Jonas Kaufmann is a perfect foil to Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Maddalena who wrings every last drop of emotion out of ‘La mamma morta’…but the man of the hour is Antonio Pappano who conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House as if all their lives depended on it” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 ****

“Captivating from start to finish, Giordano’s flawed masterpiece Andrea Chenier is presented in a sterling production under director David McVicar...Kaufmann’s voice is in superb condition, expressive and compellingly projected in his arias...[Westbroek's] voice is a substantial instrument which she manages capably, as demonstrated by her Act Three showpiece aria La mamma morta.” MusicWeb International, September 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

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Warner Classics - 9029593779

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 2013


Sophie Koch (Mère Marie de l’Incarnation), Patricia Petibon (Blanche de La Force), Véronique Gens (Madame Lidoine), Sandrine Piau (Soeur Constance de Saint Denis), Rosalind Plowright (Madame de Croissy), Topi Lehtipuu (Le Chevalier de La Force), Philippe Rouillon (Le Marquis de La Force), Annie Vavrille (Mère Jeanne de l’Enfant Jésus), Sophie Pondjiclis (Soeur Mathilde), François Piolino (Le Père confesseur du couvent), Jérémy Duffau (Le premier commissaire), Yuri Kissin (Le second commissaire, un officier) & Matthieu Lécroart (Le geôlier)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Chœur du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Jérémie Rhorer (conductor) & Olivier Py (director)

Rosalind Plowright talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the production and the role of Madame de Croissy here.

Pierre-André Weitz – design and costumes

Bertrand Killy – lighting

Hervé Gary – lighting

Natalie Van Parys – choreography

Olivier Simonnet – filming director

At the end of 2013, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of Francis Poulenc’s death, his gripping and moving operatic masterpiece, Dialogues des Carmélites was staged in Paris by director Olivier Py with a cast featuring some of France’s finest female singers – Patricia Petitbon, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau and Sophie Koch – under the baton of Jérémie Rohrer. Le Figaro described the production as “a thing of wonder,” while Le Monde called it: “A masterpiece ... the most exciting and consummately achieved show to have been seen on a Parisian stage in a long time … This was great work, magisterial and unforgettable.”

“The memorable Dialogues des Carmélites at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées marked the climax of commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death,” wrote Opera magazine of the production of Poulenc’s gripping and moving opera that was staged by the French director Olivier Py in Paris in December 2013.

Among operas composed in the post-War era, Dialogues des Carmélites, first seen in 1957 at La Scala, is one of the most frequently performed and best loved. Set during the French Revolution, it tells the story of a highly-strung young aristocrat, Blanche de la Force, who seeks peace by joining a convent and finally goes to the guillotine with her fellow nuns. Faith, fear, and sacrifice are among the issues it addresses with music – sometimes austere, sometimes sensuous, sometimes both at once – that exemplifies Poulenc’s characteristic amalgam of simplicity and sophistication. Its final scene, as the nuns go one by one to their execution while singing a soaring ‘Salve regina’, is of spine-tingling pathos and power.

The stark, monochrome decor for Py’s production, designed by André Weitz, makes use of sliding panels that open and close to create the acting space or reveal expressionist vistas, while the costumes evoke the first half of the 20th century rather than the era of the Revolution itself. Especially striking is the death scene of Madame de Croissy, the old Prioress, searingly sung and acted by the British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright: the audience views her agonies as if from above, since her bed is mounted vertically on the rear panel of the stage. Later in the opera, when it comes to the final night in their convent, before their expulsion by the revolutionaries, the nuns are assembled as if for the Last Supper, while the stunning, transcendent final scene is set against a starry sky.

Duration: 169 minutes

Languages: Sung in French, with subtitles available in English and German

Audio specs: Stereo Dolby 5.1

“Olivier Py's austere 1930s production boasts a distinguished, largely Francophone cast, headed by Poulenc specialist Patricia Petibon as Blanche, Sophie Koch as the fanatical Mère Marie, and British mezzo Rosalind Plowright as the tortured Old Prioress.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 21st November 2014

“Breathtakingly conducted by Jérémie Rohrer, it boasts one of the finest casts ever assembled for the piece. Patricia Petibon gives the performance of a lifetime as Blanche...[Plowright's] performance has a dramatic veracity that is disturbing in the extreme...Long sceptical about the piece, I was completely won over – the highest complement I can pay it.” The Guardian, 12th December 2014 *****

“this film of a production staged in Paris in 2013 has the immediate advantage of a wonderfully responsive conductor in Jérémie Rhorer and a largely Francophone cast...Py’s abstract staging is refreshingly straightforward...overall this is a performance charged with all the opera’s doom-laden dramatic urgency and spiritual power.” The Telegraph, 24th January 2015 ****

“taken as a whole, this is visually by far the best recent Carmelites. It also has a dream cast...Petibon masterfully conveys the complexities of her contradictory character...Piau is a wonderfully bright-eyed as Constance, Rosalind Plowright is suitably disturbing in the alternate 'mad scene'..With Jérémie Rhorer's nuanced conducting, the Philharmonia on top form and sympathetic filming, there are no weaknesses.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

“Gens is a lean, nervous (rather than benelovent) Madame Lidoine...Koch's strong presence puts a particularly sharp point on the severity of Carmelite life...Plowright maintains great vocal and dramatic tension...Ultimately, the production and performances take the opera beyond the nuns' story but question the moral responsibility of martyrdom.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - March 2015

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016

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Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel


Humperdinck:

Hänsel und Gretel

Sung in English


Christine Schafer (Gretel), Alice Coote (Hansel), Rosalind Plowright (Gertrude), Alan Held (Peter), Philip Langridge (Witch), Sasha Cooke (Sandman), Lisette Oropesa (Dew-Fairy)

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski

Production: Richard Jones, Set and Costume designer: John Macfarlane, Lighting designed by: Jennifer Tipton, Choreographer: Linda Dobell & Translation: David Pountney

Christine Schäfer, Alice Coote and Vladimir Jurowski triumph in Humperdinck’s first and most successful opera – filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera in Hi-Definition.

This irresistibly delicious new English-language production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is the first Metropolitan Opera : Live in High-Definition series release following EMI Classic’s recent collaboration with the Met.

The Brothers Grimm fairy tale, a timeless children’s favourite, features a sophisticated score, and this intriguing new staging will appeal to audiences of all ages.

Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer are charming as Hansel and Gretel. The role of the Witch, written for a mezzo-soprano, is sometimes sung by a tenor – as is the case in this production - with Philip Langridge in the role.

Vladimir Jurowski, one of the world’s most sought-after conductors, leads Germany’s dearest opera, with a sensitive account of Humperdinck’s enchanting score.

Hansel and Gretel is considered by many as the salvation of German opera, bringing relief from the murky Wagnerian depths of Teutonic myth and initiating a return to the shimmering world of the fairy tale.

In 1923, Hansel and Gretel became the first complete opera to be broadcast on radio from Covent Garden ; Eight years later it was the first to be broadcast from the New York Met. It is significant therefore that this is one of the eight operas chosen to be in this season’s Met HD transmissions.

Beautifully staged by Richard Jones and moodily designed by John Macfarlane, this dark and eccentric production ‘is tough and dark, sparse and savage, an exploration of deprivation, cruelty and gluttony in a contemporary always-always-land’. (Financial Times)

“…Vladimir Jurowski conducts superbly, and the cast, singing in accessible English, is first-rate, especially Alice Coote and Christine Schäfer and Alan Held's towering Wotanesque Father. The staging… is WNO's familiar Richard Jones effort, with Francis Bacon-style drop curtains of shrieking maws and blood-slathered plates, the Witch visibly roasting in her Auschwitz-style kitchen.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 ***

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Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Sung in English (translation by David Pountney)


Rebecca Evans (Gretel), Jennifer Larmore (Hansel), Jane Henschel (The Witch), Rosalind Plowright (Gertrude), Robert Hayward (Peter), Sarah Tynan (Dew Fairy), Diana Montague (Sandman), Sarah Coppen (Cuckoo)

Philharmonia Orchestra & New London Children’s Choir, Sir Charles Mackerras

“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” The Times

“What distinguishes this version is primarily the vigorous and large-scale conducting of Sir Charles Mackerras.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2007 ****

“All told, this set will clearly stand the test of time as an English version, rivalling even the best of versions in the original German. The exhilaration of the final scene in particular is irresistible, with Mackerras drawing a genuinely Viennese-sounding lilt in the waltz rhythms of the "Witch is dead" duet, the destruction of the Witch's House powerfully conveyed and the revival of the gingerbread children movingly done. ” Gramophone Magazine, September 2007

“When a perfectly serviceable version of Hanseland Gretel in English already exists on CfP, it is generous as well as bold for the Peter Moores Foundation to sponsor this new one. In every way it replaces the old. That was an EMI effort in 1964 using multichannels – the result: unnecessarily close voices and a dim orchestra. On Chandos the recording is clear and beautifully separated yet with an agreeable bloom on voices and instruments.
The Canadian Mario Bernadi, then briefly the Sadler's Wells company's music director, conducts a lively performance but Sir Charles Mackerras is altogether more inspired and imaginative, with pointing and phrasing that readily match Karajan's masterly conducting on the classic mono EMI set.
Though the CfP singers, from the old Sadler's Wells company, are good with clear, firm voices, their 'prunes and prisms' enunciation of words harks back to a pre-war tradition, dating the performance. This time, following the practice at English National Opera, the David Pountney Opera Humperdinck 602 translation is used, fresher and more idiomatic, helping the starry cast of soloists, led by Jennifer Larmore and Rebecca Evans, both superb in the title-roles, nicely contrasted while blending well together.
There is strong casting, too, for the Witch, with Jane Henschel refusing to caricature the role in 'funny-voice' singing; Rosalind Plowright, gravitating down to mature mezzo, as the Mother, and Robert Hayward as the Father, don't guy their characterisations, either; while there are good contrasts between the bright Dew Fairy of Sarah Tynan and the warm Sandman of Diana Montague.
All told, this set will clearly stand the test of time as an English version, rivalling even the best of versions in the original German. The exhilaration of the final scene in particular is irresistible, with Mackerras drawing a genuinely Viennese-sounding lilt in the waltz rhythms of the 'Witch is dead' duet, the destruction of the Witch's House powerfully conveyed and the revival of the gingerbread children movingly done. The fresh young voices of the New London Children's Choir are beautifully caught.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - September 2007

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - August 2007

Summer Opera Sale

Chandos Opera in English - CHAN31432

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Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Giordano, U: Andrea Chénier

Live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden


Jonas Kaufmann (Andrea Chénier), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Maddalena de Coigny), Željko Lučić (Carlo Gérard), Denyce Graves (Bersi), Elena Zilio (Madelon), Rosalind Plowright (Contessa de Coigny), Roland Wood (Roucher), Peter Coleman-Wright (Pietro Fléville), Eddie Wade (Fouquier-Tinville), Adrian Clarke (Mathieu), Carlo Bosi (The Incredibile), Peter Hoare (Abbé), Jeremy White (Schmidt), John Cunningham (Major Domo), Yuriy Yurchuk (Dumas)

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Antonio Pappano (conductor & David McVicar (director)

“Kaufmann is performing the title role for the first time, and it’s hard to imagine him bettered. His striking looks make him very much the Romantic and romanticised outsider of Giordano’s vision. His voice, with its dark, liquid tone, soars through the music with refined ease and intensity: all those grand declarations of passion, whether political or erotic, hit home with terrific immediacy.” – The Guardian

Presented in its Covent Garden premiere in January 2015, this staging – directed by David McVicar and conducted by the Royal Opera’s Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano – shows a bloody tricolour daubed with the words “Even Plato banned poets from his Republic” – written by Robespierre on the death warrant of the historical Chénier, a poet and journalist sent to the guillotine in 1794 for criticising France’s post-revolutionary government. Andrea Chénier was a great success at its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on 28 March 1896. It established Giordano as a leading member of Italy’s giovane scuola, and has remained Giordano’s most popular opera, with occasional productions at leading opera houses. This production is the first by The Royal Opera since 1984. Of Giordano’s later operas, only Fedora (1898) has attracted some continued interest.

“The Countess de Coigny in sumptuous purple satin is sung to great effect by Rosalind Plowright, as is Elena Zilio’s Madelon…never less than compelling on screen, Jonas Kaufmann is a perfect foil to Eva-Maria Westbroek’s Maddalena who wrings every last drop of emotion out of ‘La mamma morta’…but the man of the hour is Antonio Pappano who conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House as if all their lives depended on it” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 ****

“Captivating from start to finish, Giordano’s flawed masterpiece Andrea Chenier is presented in a sterling production under director David McVicar...Kaufmann’s voice is in superb condition, expressive and compellingly projected in his arias...[Westbroek's] voice is a substantial instrument which she manages capably, as demonstrated by her Act Three showpiece aria La mamma morta.” MusicWeb International, September 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

Finalist

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Summer Opera Sale

Warner Classics - 9029593796

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Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites

Live at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, 2013


Sophie Koch (Mère Marie de l’Incarnation), Patricia Petibon (Blanche de La Force), Véronique Gens (Madame Lidoine), Sandrine Piau (Soeur Constance de Saint Denis), Rosalind Plowright (Madame de Croissy), Topi Lehtipuu (Le Chevalier de La Force), Philippe Rouillon (Le Marquis de La Force), Annie Vavrille (Mère Jeanne de l’Enfant Jésus), Sophie Pondjiclis (Soeur Mathilde), François Piolino (Le Père confesseur du couvent), Jérémy Duffau (Le premier commissaire), Yuri Kissin (Le second commissaire, un officier) & Matthieu Lécroart (Le geôlier)

Philharmonia Orchestra & Chœur du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Jérémie Rhorer (conductor) & Olivier Py (director)

Rosalind Plowright talks to Presto's Katherine Cooper about the production and the role of Madame de Croissy here.

Pierre-André Weitz – design and costumes

Bertrand Killy – lighting

Hervé Gary – lighting

Natalie Van Parys – choreography

Olivier Simonnet – filming director

At the end of 2013, the year that marked the 50th anniversary of Francis Poulenc’s death, his gripping and moving operatic masterpiece, Dialogues des Carmélites was staged in Paris by director Olivier Py with a cast featuring some of France’s finest female singers – Patricia Petitbon, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau and Sophie Koch – under the baton of Jérémie Rohrer. Le Figaro described the production as “a thing of wonder,” while Le Monde called it: “A masterpiece ... the most exciting and consummately achieved show to have been seen on a Parisian stage in a long time … This was great work, magisterial and unforgettable.”

“The memorable Dialogues des Carmélites at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées marked the climax of commemorative activities for the 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death,” wrote Opera magazine of the production of Poulenc’s gripping and moving opera that was staged by the French director Olivier Py in Paris in December 2013.

Among operas composed in the post-War era, Dialogues des Carmélites, first seen in 1957 at La Scala, is one of the most frequently performed and best loved. Set during the French Revolution, it tells the story of a highly-strung young aristocrat, Blanche de la Force, who seeks peace by joining a convent and finally goes to the guillotine with her fellow nuns. Faith, fear, and sacrifice are among the issues it addresses with music – sometimes austere, sometimes sensuous, sometimes both at once – that exemplifies Poulenc’s characteristic amalgam of simplicity and sophistication. Its final scene, as the nuns go one by one to their execution while singing a soaring ‘Salve regina’, is of spine-tingling pathos and power.

The stark, monochrome decor for Py’s production, designed by André Weitz, makes use of sliding panels that open and close to create the acting space or reveal expressionist vistas, while the costumes evoke the first half of the 20th century rather than the era of the Revolution itself. Especially striking is the death scene of Madame de Croissy, the old Prioress, searingly sung and acted by the British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright: the audience views her agonies as if from above, since her bed is mounted vertically on the rear panel of the stage. Later in the opera, when it comes to the final night in their convent, before their expulsion by the revolutionaries, the nuns are assembled as if for the Last Supper, while the stunning, transcendent final scene is set against a starry sky.

Duration: 169 minutes

Languages: Sung in French, with subtitles available in English and German

Audio specs: Stereo Dolby 5.1

“Olivier Py's austere 1930s production boasts a distinguished, largely Francophone cast, headed by Poulenc specialist Patricia Petibon as Blanche, Sophie Koch as the fanatical Mère Marie, and British mezzo Rosalind Plowright as the tortured Old Prioress.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 21st November 2014

“Breathtakingly conducted by Jérémie Rohrer, it boasts one of the finest casts ever assembled for the piece. Patricia Petibon gives the performance of a lifetime as Blanche...[Plowright's] performance has a dramatic veracity that is disturbing in the extreme...Long sceptical about the piece, I was completely won over – the highest complement I can pay it.” The Guardian, 12th December 2014 *****

“this film of a production staged in Paris in 2013 has the immediate advantage of a wonderfully responsive conductor in Jérémie Rhorer and a largely Francophone cast...Py’s abstract staging is refreshingly straightforward...overall this is a performance charged with all the opera’s doom-laden dramatic urgency and spiritual power.” The Telegraph, 24th January 2015 ****

“taken as a whole, this is visually by far the best recent Carmelites. It also has a dream cast...Petibon masterfully conveys the complexities of her contradictory character...Piau is a wonderfully bright-eyed as Constance, Rosalind Plowright is suitably disturbing in the alternate 'mad scene'..With Jérémie Rhorer's nuanced conducting, the Philharmonia on top form and sympathetic filming, there are no weaknesses.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2015 *****

“Gens is a lean, nervous (rather than benelovent) Madame Lidoine...Koch's strong presence puts a particularly sharp point on the severity of Carmelite life...Plowright maintains great vocal and dramatic tension...Ultimately, the production and performances take the opera beyond the nuns' story but question the moral responsibility of martyrdom.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2015

BBC Music Magazine

Opera Choice - March 2015

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2016

Video Winner

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Summer Opera Sale

Erato - 2564621953

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Normally: $21.00

Special: $16.80

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Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op. 70

Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op. 70


‘Never was there a more complete triumph’, wrote The Times after the premiere of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The performance, conducted by the composer at the 1846 Birmingham Music Festival, marked the beginning of the life of Elijah as one of the best-loved choral works in the repertoire, a status it still holds.

A grand oratorio in two parts, Elijah is very much composed in the spirit of Mendelssohn’s baroque predecessors, combining the dramatic sweep of Handel with episodes of sublime meditation such as are found in Bach. It tells the story of the stern Old Testament prophet Elijah who preached against the idol worship of the Israelite people. Mendelssohn adapted the Biblical texts to produce intensely dramatic scenes depicting, for example, the resurrection of a dead youth, a contest of the gods, and Elijah’s ascension into heaven on a fiery chariot. This recording, made in April 1989, presents an all-star cast with Willard White in the title role and Rosalind Plowright, Linda Finnie, Arthur Davies, and Jeremy Budd singing the various supporting parts. Conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is the late Richard Hickox, a musician who built an immense reputation for his masterful performances of choral music during his career. This release is a part of the ongoing Richard Hickox Legacy series.

“A full-blooded account with a particularly stirring contribution from the LSO Chorus. White's commanding presence as Elijah is slightly marred by some passages with wobbly vibrato.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2014 ****

“a performance that both pays tribute to the English choral tradition in this work and presents it dramatically as a kind of religious opera. Willard White may not be ideally steady in his delivery, sometimes attacking notes from below, but he sings consistently with fervour...The chorus fearlessly underlines the high contrasts of dynamic demanded in the score.” Penguin Guide

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Chandos 241 - The Hickox Legacy - CHAN241-48

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Verdi: Il Trovatore (highlights)

Verdi: Il Trovatore (highlights)


DG - 4793562

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Viva Verdi! The Ultimate Collection

Viva Verdi! The Ultimate Collection


includes

Verdi:

Va, pensiero (from Nabucco)

Orchester und Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Giuseppe Sinopoli

La donna è mobile (from Rigoletto)

Joseph Calleja (tenor)

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Riccardo Chailly

È il sol dell'anima (from Rigoletto)

Anna Netrebko (soprano), Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Staatskapelle Dresden, Nicola Luisotti

Bella figlia dell'amore (from Rigoletto)

Renata Scotto (soprano), Fiorenza Cossotto (mezzo), Carlo Bergonzi (tenor), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone)

Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Rafael Kubelik

Stride la vampa (from Il Trovatore)

Brigitte Fassbaender (mezzo)

Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Carlo Maria Giulini

Anvil Chorus (from Il Trovatore)

Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Carlo Maria Giulini

Di quella pira (from Il trovatore)

Luciano Pavarotti (tenor)

National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Miserere d'un' alma gia vicina (from Il Trovatore)

Rosalind Plowright (soprano), Plácido Domingo (tenor)

Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Carlo Maria Giulini

Fontainebleau! Forêt immense et solitaire … (from Don Carlos)

Roberto Alagna (tenor)

Orchestre de Paris, Antonio Pappano

O tu che in seno agli angeli (from La Forza del Destino)

José Carreras (tenor)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli

La traviata: Prelude to Act 1

Bavarian State Orchestra, Carlos Kleiber

Libiamo, ne' lieti calici (from La Traviata)

Anna Netrebko (soprano), Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor, Carlo Rizzi

È strano! è strano!...Ah! fors è lui (from La traviata)

Anna Netrebko (soprano)

Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

È strano! è strano!...Ah! fors è lui...Sempre libera (from La Traviata)

Anna Netrebko (soprano), Saimir Pirgu (tenor)

Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Di Provenza il mar (from La Traviata)

Sherrill Milnes (baritone)

Bavarian State Orchestra, Carlos Kleiber

Parigi, o cara (from La Traviata)

Joan Sutherland (soprano), Luciano Pavarotti (tenor)

National Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge

Se quel guerrier io fossi!…Celeste Aida (from Aida)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Gloria all'Egitto (from Aida)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Grand March from Aida

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Aida: Ballet Music, Act II

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Vieni, o guerriero vindice (from Aida)

Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

O terra, addio (from Aida)

Katia Ricciarelli (soprano), Elena Obraztsova (mezzo), Plácido Domingo (tenor)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Dies Irae (from Requiem)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Ernst Senff Chor, Carlo Maria Giulini

Ingemisco (from Requiem)

Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino, Gianandrea Noseda

Lacrymosa (from Requiem)

Sharon Sweet (soprano), Florence Quivar (mezzo), Vinson Cole (tenor), Simon Estes (bass)

Berliner Philharmoniker, Ernst Senff Chor, Carlo Maria Giulini

Sanctus (from Requiem)

Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

O don fatale (from Don Carlo)

Grace Bumbry (mezzo)

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Janos Kulka

Udisti?…Vil disegno! (from Simon Boccanegra)

José Carreras (tenor), José van Dam (bass)

Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Claudio Abbado

Esultate! (from Otello)

Plácido Domingo (tenor)

Orchestre et Choeurs de l'Opéra Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung

Ave Maria (from Otello)

Renée Fleming (soprano)

London Symphony Orchestra, Georg Solti

Ehi! Paggio! ... L'onore! Ladri! (from Falstaff)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, James Levine

Dal labbro il canto estasiato vola (from Falstaff)

Mojca Erdmann (soprano), Rolando Villazón (tenor)

Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino, Gianandrea Noseda


Leading tenor, Rolando Villazon, has personally selected 34 great Verdi tracks, sung by the great names of the present and past, both to celebrate Verdi at 200 and to inspire a new generation with the composer’s great arias, powerful choruses and popular tunes.

The tracklist is framed by two stirring overtures, it includes famous numbers by all the leading singers on DG and Decca (as well as a couple from EMI), including Roberto Alagna, Carlo Bergonzi, Grace Bumbry, Joseph Calleja, José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Luciano Pavorotti, Katia Ricciarelli, Joan Sutherland and BrynTerfel. There are rousing choruses and several extracts from the Requiem too. It’s a splendid 150-minute collection.

The striking cover includes one of Rolando’s inimitable Verdi sketches, and will include a sticker incorporating a photo of the artist. The all-colour booklet has an article by journalist Richard Lawrence which also takes in some quotes from the artist in a recent interview for this release.

Villazón is confident that every excerpt on these discs will make the listener want to hear the complete work. “No other composer creates such an immediate link with the audience. Go to see La traviata: you hear those rhythms, those melodies, that dramatic force, and you are drawn into his world. It doesn’t matter whether you love opera or know nothing about it: it just captures you, it grabs you.” Listening to the numbers from La traviata here, you have to agree.

DG - 4791171

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

Forever Domingo

Forever Domingo


 

Ay, ay, ay

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Bizet:

La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)

London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

Brodszky:

Be My Love

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Cardillo:

Core 'ngrato

London Symphony Orchestra, Marcel Peeters

Curtis, E:

Non ti scordar di me

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Non ti scordar di me

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Donizetti:

Una furtiva lagrima (from L'elisir d'amore)

Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carlo Maria Giulini

Grever:

Muñequita Linda

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Hardelot:

Because

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

LaCalle:

Amapola

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Lara, Augustin:

Granada

London Symphony Orchestra, Marcel Peeters

Lecuona:

Siboney

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Lehár:

Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (from Das Land des Lächelns)

London Symphony Orchestra, Karl-Heinz Loges

Leoncavallo:

Mattinata - 'L'aurora di bianco vestita'

London Symphony Orchestra, Marcel Peeters

Puccini:

Nessun dorma (from Turandot)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Wiener Sangerknaben, Herbert von Karajan

Recondita armonia (from Tosca)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli

E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli

Ch'ella mi creda libero e lontano (from La Fanciulla del West)

Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Zubin Mehta

Donna non vidi mai (from Manon Lescaut)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli

Rossini:

Largo al factotum (from Il barbiere di Siviglia)

Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado

Verdi:

Se quel guerrier io fossi!…Celeste Aida (from Aida)

Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, Claudio Abbado

La donna è mobile (from Rigoletto)

Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass), Piero Cappuccilli (baritone)

Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlo Maria Giulini

Di quella pira (from Il trovatore)

Rosalind Plowright (soprano)

Orchestra e Coro dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Carlo Maria Giulini


forever DOMINGO offers a tantalising and generous selection of Plácido Domingo’s greatest hits.

It combines acclaimed recordings of popular tracks such as Be My Love and Granada with the greatest tenor opera arias from Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet and Rossini.

Includes Nessun Dorma, La donna è mobile, Largo al factotum and Una furtiva lagrima. The album is rounded off by one of the best-known pieces in the Viennese operetta repertoire Dein ist mein ganzes Herz.

PLÁCIDO DOMINGO - Whatever he does, he does it from his heart. The son of singers who ran their own zarzuela company, Domingo grew up surrounded by music and the theatre. Today it is safe to say that in every corner of the world, everyone who has even the most passing interest in opera is familiar with the name of Plácido Domingo. He truly is a living legend.

“Domingo shows his lighter side in souped-up arrangements of popular songs and a clutch of standard arias” BBC Music Magazine, May 2013 ****

DG - 4791096

(CD)

$9.50

(also available to download from $6.75)

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days. (Available now to download.)

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