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Birtwistle: Angel Fighter

Birtwistle: Angel Fighter


Birtwistle:

Angel Fighter

Andrew Watts (Angel) & Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Jacob)

In Broken Images

Virelai (Sus une fontayne)


Harrison Birtwistle is internationally regarded as one of the most striking and individual composers today. His unique soundworld runs the full gamut from large-scale operatic and orchestral canvases, rich in mythical and primitivist power, to intimate chamber works, contemplative in their lyricism.

One of Birtwistle's most recent works The Cure – a co-commission between The Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Music and London Sinfonietta – has its World Premiere 12-15 June at Britten Studio, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, and London Premiere at Linbury Studio Theatre, London 18–27 June 2015.

Described by The Guardian as 'hauntingly powerful', Birtwistle's cantata Angel Fighter vividly explores the Biblical story of the struggle between man and divine being from the Book of Genesis. Predictably, for a composer with a long-standing fascination in myth, drama and ritual, it's the physical fight between Jacob and the Angel more than religious signifi cance, that interests Birtwistle: the tension, twists of pulse, sharp accents and jeering chants from the chorus make it feel more like a wrestling match than a life-or-death struggle. Quartertones and string harmonics enhance the otherworldly descent of the Angel from Heaven and librettist Stephen Plaice makes clever use of Enochian, an angelic language 'discovered' by the 16th century alchemist and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, John Dee.

In Broken Images, inspired by Gabrieli's multi-choir canzonas, splits the ensemble into four groups (woodwind, brass, strings and percussion) and takes its title from the Robert Graves poem. Birtwistle continues to draw influence from the past in Virelai (Sus une fontayne), a rhythmically intricate realisation of a piece by Johannes Ciconia, who flourished in the late Middle Ages, around the time that Chaucer was writing his Canterbury Tales.

“Angel Fighter, composed for the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, is a spare and strikingly original piece of dramatic storytelling. It presents the Old Testament tale of Jacob wrestling an angel as a ritualised game between the tenor Jacob (Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts) and the counter-tenor Angel (Andrew Watts) and climaxes in one of the great dramatic moments in Birtwistle’s concert music.” The Guardian, 14th May 2015 ****

“[Angel Fighter] would evoke Bach cantatas if Birtwistle’s gestic pungency did not sweep all before...In Broken Images (2011) — an intriguing meditation on the eponymous Graves poem — might evoke Gabrieli but for the same proviso. The brief Virelai (Sus une fontayne) brilliantly transforms a late-medieval original.” Sunday Times, 17th May 2015

“anyone in 2015 disposed to expect ageing dinosaurs going through the motions should be struck by the energy and sharpness of response in these recordings...Angel Fighter owes as much to terse commentaries from choir and instruments as to extended dialogues between admirable singers, and Atherton couples scrupulous attention to detail with exemplary alertness to the steadily unfolding shape of the whole.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2015

“Birtwistle unleashes all his powers as a stage composer onto Stephen Plaice's text, using the whole building to create a thrilling dramatisation of the Bible story…pungent pizzicato rhythms, visceral trumpets, groaning lower brass and winds shrilling overhead drive the three-way confrontation…the London Sinfonietta, under David Atherton, lend it both soul and a zinging edge.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

GGramophone Awards 2016

Finalist - Contemporary

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2015

Summer Opera Sale

NMC - NMCD211

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Birtwistle: The Minotaur

Birtwistle: The Minotaur

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 25th & 30th April and 3rd May 2008.


John Tomlinson (The Minotaur), Johan Reuter (Theseus), Christine Rice (Ariadne), Andrew Watts (Snake Priestess), Philip Langridge (Hiereus), Amanda Echalaz (Ker), Rebecca Bottone, Pumeza Matshikiza, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Christopher Ainslie, Tim Mead (Innocents)

The Royal Opera Chorus & The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Stephen Langridge (stage director)

This world premiere of a gripping new work by composer Harrison Birtwistle and librettist David Harsent, commissioned by The Royal Opera, brings the monstrous, Greek mythological character to the stage. John Tomlinson stars as the Minotaur, part man, part beast, trapped in his labyrinth and constrained by his bloodthirsty role there, longs to discover his true identity and his own voice. Athens must pay a blood sacrifice to Crete and among the innocents is Theseus, who has come to challenge the violent Minotaur, but who also attracts the attention of Ariadne, half-sister and keeper of the monster; it is with her help he succeeds. Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House.

‘Thanks to a superb cast and impeccable playing under Antonio Pappano, the evening is a glittering success. …what Birtwistle has done is give us one opera inside another. The outer one is strident and earthbound; the inner one – ending with the Minotaur's Caliban-like dying aria – burns with visionary fire.’ The Independent

Extra features:

Documentary: ‘Myth is universal'.

Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.

Running time 175 mins

Region code All regions

Video codec: AVC/MPEG-4

Disc size: BD50

Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9

Sound format 2.0 & 5.0 PCM (TBC)

Menu language EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“This opera, premiered at the Royal Opera last April, seems to me to be a masterpiece, of the kind that one feels the greatness of before one has a complete understanding of it. …the Minotaur is a terrifying and pained figure. This performance is the climax of John Tomlinson's career, in a part written with his huge, gravelly voice in mind. The other compelling figure is Ariadne... Christine Rice, bearing the weight of exposition and of suffering, uses her wonderfully rich mezzo to stunning effect.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“The filming reinforces the strengths of Stephen Langridge's tightly controlled, potently expressive production in an economical yet atmospheric setting, with the whole ensemble totally engaged in the drama's dark enterprise. Repeated hearings underline that, in the end, this tragedy is the more convincing for the way its turn towards pathos does not involve any false consolation.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

“Birtwistle's latest large-scale music drama, written for Covent Garden, is a quite different experience on DVD: what might have been planned by composer and stage director to be witnessed from a distance is shown in unsparing close-up. But this seething, monumental reinvention of one of the most disquieting Greek myths – with a pithy libretto by David Harsent – is neither betrayed nor diminished by this excellent film. Only in its final stages does the opera's focus shift decisively to the doomed Minotaur from the scheming Ariadne, and the drama's most essential point is that this Ariadne – as different from Strauss's as Birtwistle's Orpheus is different from Gluck's – is in her own way as much of a monster as the half-man/half-bull. These demanding roles are projected with maximum musical eloquence by Christine Rice and Sir John Tomlinson, no doubt because – as Rice makes clear in the absorbing 30-minute documentary that accompanies the performance – what is demanding is also intensely rewarding to singers prepared to commit themselves to a steep learning curve. Equal commitment is evident in Johan Reuter's Theseus, the conventions of heroic posturing given new depth and relevance in text, music and vocal acting alike. We see little of Antonio Pappano and his orchestra, but the excellent sound never lets us escape the inexorable magnetism of the instrumental continuum.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2009

Finalist - DVD

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month

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Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7052D

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Un Año Con Jesucristo

Un Año Con Jesucristo


Various Artists, David R. Murray (producer), Philippe Herreweghe (lead vocals), Orchestra Of Collegium Vocale (lead vocals), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (lead vocals), Orchestra Of Collegium Vocale (performed by), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (chorus), Heinz Wildhagen (producer), Heinz Wildhagen (produced by), Peter Kooy (lead vocals), Don Black (lead vocals), Don Black (counter-tenor vocals), Orchestra of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (performed by), Barbara Schlick (soprano vocals), Michael Chance (counter-tenor vocals), Michael Chance (lead vocals), Peter Kooy (bass), Howard Crook (tenor vocals), Howard Crook (lead vocals), Barbara Schlick (lead vocals), The Sixteen/Harry Christophers, Tim Handley (producer), Mike Hatch (tonmeister), Harry Christophers (lead vocals), The Sixteen (lead vocals), Katharine Copisarow (producer), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau/Jean-Pierre Rampal/Jacques Neilz/Robert Veyron-Lacroix, Suvi Raj Grubb (produced by), Neville Boyling (tonmeister), Robert Veyron Lacroix (lead vocals), Andrew Walter (remastering engineer), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bass-baritone), Suvi Raj Grubb (producer), Robert Veyron Lacroix (performance), Jean-Pierre Rampal (performance), Jacques Neilz (performance), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (performed by), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (musicians), Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (vocals), Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (lead vocals), Jean-Pierre Rampal (musicians), Jacques Neilz (musicians), Jacques Neilz (lead vocals), Jean-Pierre Rampal (lead vocals), Jacques Neilz (violoncello), Robert Veyron-Lacroix (harpsichord), Winchester Cathedral Choir/David Hill, Stephen Johns (producer), Winchester Cathedral Choir (lead vocals), David Hill (lead vocals), King's College Choir, Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury/Jon Wimpeney/Sebastian Johns/Edmund Rex/Simon Chambers, Sebastian Johns (vocals), Simon Chambers (bass), Stephen Cleobury (director), Jon Wimpeney (vocals), Edmund Rex (vocals), Cambridge King's College Choir (lead vocals), Stephen Cleobury (lead vocals), Simon Chambers (lead vocals), Les Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr/Sylvie Moquet/Emmanuel Mandrin, Emmanuel Mandrin (musicians), Emmanuel Mandrin (director), Sylvie Moquet (musicians), Joël Soupiron (tonmeister), Sylvie Moquet (viol), Solène Chevassus (assistant engineer), Sylvie Moquet (bass viol), Emmanuel Mandrin (organ), Alain Duchemin (producer), Claire Geoffroy-Dechaume (vocals), Dominique Favat (vocals), Raphaële Kennedy (soprano vocals), Les Demoiselles De Saint Cyr (lead vocals), Catherine Greuillet (soprano vocals), Sylvie Moquet (lead vocals), Donatienne Michel-Dansac (soprano vocals), Rebecca Ockenden (soprano vocals), Florence Limon (soprano vocals), Delphine Collot (soprano vocals), Emmanuel Mandrin (lead vocals), Sylvie Althaparro (vocals), David Dunnet (organ), David Dunnet (musicians), Jackie Shave [5] (violin), Jackie Shave [5] (musicians), Alison Collins (production), Solveig Kringelborn (soprano vocals), Patrick Kiernan (musicians), Patrick Kiernan (violin), Ben Cruft [5] (violin), Ben Cruft [5] (musicians), Donald Sweeney [5] (bass), William Kendall [4], [6] (tenor vocals), Ian Simrock [4] (musicians), Ian Simrock [4] (bells), Gavyn Wright [5] (musicians), MacIej Rakowski [5] (violin), Boguslav Kostecki [5] (musicians), MacIej Rakowski [5] (musicians), David R. Murray (produced by), Gavyn Wright [5] (violin), Boguslav Kostecki [5] (violin), Coro De Monjes Del Monasterio De Silos, Francisco Lara (director), Gérard Lesne - Xavier Combarieu - Etienne Fouss - Lenaick Gicquel - Paul Haddad - Peter Harvey - Ian Honeyman - Il Seminario Musicale - Sandrine Piau - Frédéric Richard, Il Seminario Musicale (vocals), Il Seminario Musicale (performed by), Peter Harvey (vocals), Sandrine Piau (performed by), Ian Honeyman (vocals), Frédéric Richard (performed by), Peter Harvey (bass), Sandrine Piau (boy soprano), Sandrine Piau (vocals), Frédéric Richard (vocals), Ian Honeyman (performed by), Peter Harvey (performed by), Xavier Combarieu (performed by), Gérard Lesne (lead vocals), Gérard Lesne (performed by), Etienne Fouss (performed by), Xavier Combarieu (vocals), Paul Haddad (performed by), Lenaick Gicquel (vocals), Lenaick Gicquel (performed by), Etienne Fouss (vocals), Paul Haddad (vocals), Gerard Lesne (counter-tenor vocals), Veronique Gens (soprano vocals), Emily Van Evera/Caroline Trevor/Charles Daniels/Peter Kooy/Taverner Consort/Taverner Players/Andrew Parrott, Caroline Trevor (vocals), Andrew Parrott (lead vocals), Charles Daniels (vocals), Emily Van Evera (boy soprano), Simon Woods (producer), David Thomas [1]-[8] (bass), Emily Van Evera (soprano vocals), Emily Van Evera (lead vocals), Andrew Parrott (director), Taverner Consort (lead vocals), Taverner Players (lead vocals), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe, Hillevi Martinpelto (boy soprano), Christoph Pregardien (vocals), Nicholas Parker (producer), Stephen Keavy (trumpet), Andrew Watts (bassoon), Christoph Prégardien (tenor vocals), Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano vocals), Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment (lead vocals), Nicholas Parker (produced by), Hilliard Ensemble/Paul Hillier, Gerd Berg (producer), Gerd Berg (produced by), Hilliard Ensemble (lead vocals), Paul Hillier (lead vocals), Michel Plasson/Choeur 'Les Elements'/Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Etiénne Collard (producer), Michel Plasson (lead vocals), Choeur Les Elements (lead vocals), Orchestre Du Capitole De Toulouse (lead vocals), Nederlands Kamerkoor (chorus), Simon Foster (producer), Heinz Wildhagen (produced & engineered by), Sir David Willcocks (lead vocals), Academy Of St. Martin-In-The-Fields (lead vocals), Christopher Bishop (produced by), Christopher Bishop (producer), Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields (lead vocals), Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano vocals), Dame Janet Baker (lead vocals), Elly Ameling (soprano vocals), Ian Partridge (lead vocals), Ian Partridge (tenor vocals), John Shirley-Quirk (vocals), John Shirley-Quirk (lead vocals), Elly Ameling (lead vocals), Orchestre De Paris (vocals), Chorus Of The Gulbenkian Fundation, Lisboa (vocals), Chorus Of The Gulbenkian Fundation, Lisboa (performance), Chorus of the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon (chorus), Serge Baudo (lead vocals), Swedish Radio Choir (chorus), Michel Corboz/Orchestre de Chambre de Genève/Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne/Efrat Ben-Nun/Elisabeth Graf/Jeffrey Francis/Marcus Fink, Elisabeth Graf (vocals), Jeffrey Francis (performance), Marcus Fink (bass), Efrat Ben Nun (performance), Marcus Fink (lead vocals), Orchestre De Chambre De Genève (lead vocals), Michel Corboz (lead vocals), Efrat Ben-Nun (performed by), Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne (lead vocals), Efrat Ben Nun (lead vocals), Jeffrey Francis (lead vocals), Simon Keenlyside/Richard Studt/Stephen Farr/Winchester Cathedral Choir/Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Nancy Argenta/David Hill, Nancy Argenta (lead vocals), Mike Clements (tonmeister), Nancy Argenta (soprano vocals), Stephen Johns (produced by), Nancy Argenta (boy soprano), Bournemouth Sinfonietta (lead vocals), Simon Keenlyside (vocals), Simon Keenlyside (lead vocals), Richard Studt (musicians), Stephen Farr (musicians), Richard Studt (lead vocals), Stephen Farr (organ), Stephen Farr (lead vocals), Richard Studt (violin)

Taverner Players, Taverner Choir, Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent, Orchestra Of Collegium Vocale, The Sixteen, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers, Winchester Cathedral Choir, King's College Choir, Cambridge, Cambridge King's College Choir, Les Demoiselles , Andrew Parrott, Philippe Herreweghe, Harry Christophers, David Hill, Emmanuel Mandrin, Gérard Lesne, Paul Hillier, Michel Plasson, Sigiswald Kuijken, Sir David Willcocks, Peter Neumann, Serge Baudo, Riccardo Muti, Michel Corboz

Warner Classics - 9992480215

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

A Golden Treasury of Baroque Music (on original instruments)

A Golden Treasury of Baroque Music (on original instruments)


Various Artists, Alan Hacker, Richard Burnett, The Cambridge Baroque Camerata, Neil McLaren, Maggie Cole, Le Nouveau Quatuor, Andrew Watts, Lisa Beznosiuk, Nigel North, Frances Eustace, Preston's Pocket, Barry Mason, Robert Woolley

Amon Ra - CDSAR068

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$14.75

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A Golden Treasury of Ancient

A Golden Treasury of Ancient


Various Artists, Brian Carlick, Eric Moulder, John Hanchet, Günther Körber, Robin Canter, James Wood, Melvyn Tan, The York Waits, Alan Hacker, Richard Burnett, Frances Eustace, Andrew Watts, Paul Nicholson, Jennifer Ward Clarke, The Broadside Band, The Yorke Waits, Jonathan Impett, The Clarion Ensemble, The London Serpent Trio, Nigel Eaton, Lisa Povey, Sine Nomine, Sneak's Noyse, Fretwork, Christopher Wilson, Nigel North, George Weigand, Paula Chateauneuf, Musica Secreta, Frances Kelly

Amon Ra - CDSAR069

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Boyce: David's Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (Dublin Version, 1744)

Boyce: David's Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan (Dublin Version, 1744)


Patrick Burrowes (boy soprano), William Purefoy (alto boy), Andrew Watts (countertenor), Richard Edgar-Wilson (tenor), Michael George (bass-baritone), Pavlo Beznosiuk (leader)

Choir of New College Oxford, The Hanover Band, Graham Lea-Cox, Caroline Brown

Presto CD

Gaudeamus - CDGAU208

(Presto CD)

$14.50

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Birtwistle - Orpheus Elegies

Birtwistle - Orpheus Elegies


Birtwistle:

Orpheus Elegies for oboe, harp & counter-tenor

Three Bach Arias for soprano, counter- tenor, oboe and ensemble


Melinda Maxwell (oboe), Helen Tunstall (harp), Andrew Watts (counter-tenor) with Claire Seaton (soprano), William Stafford and Tom Verity (clarinets/bass clarinets) & Ben Fullbrook (marimba)

Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s compositional life from the mid 1970s to the 1980s was dominated by his opera The Mask of Orpheus, and the same period saw the origin of the Elegies, written for Melinda Maxwell and Helen Tunstall while they were working with the composer at the National Theatre.

‘They are like enchanted preludes…Enchantingly performed here’ The Sunday Times

“The range of musical processes and the power with which Birtwistle invest the writing is extraordinary. The pieces seem like snapshots from different perspectives of some vast, barely graspable musical object, one whose contours are constantly in flux and never definable. This performance is a fabulously committed, expressively pliable performance...” BBC Music Magazine, November 2009 *****

“Orpheus Elegies…engages with Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus, but keeps them at a distance. All three performers, in recordings that balance exemplary clarity of focus with finely sculpted detail, are wholly "inside" the piece's flexible yet inexorable formal design, which the composer describes in the admirably detailed booklet-notes as "like postcards with cryptic text".” Gramophone Magazine, November 2009

Oboe Classics - CC2020

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$15.00

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Birtwistle: The Minotaur

Birtwistle: The Minotaur

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on the 25th & 30th April and 3rd May 2008.


John Tomlinson (The Minotaur), Johan Reuter (Theseus), Christine Rice (Ariadne), Andrew Watts (Snake Priestess), Philip Langridge (Hiereus), Amanda Echalaz (Ker), Rebecca Bottone, Pumeza Matshikiza, Wendy Dawn Thompson, Christopher Ainslie, Tim Mead (Innocents)

The Royal Opera Chorus & The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Stephen Langridge (stage director)

This world premiere of a gripping new work by composer Harrison Birtwistle and librettist David Harsent, commissioned by The Royal Opera, brings the monstrous, Greek mythological character to the stage. The Minotaur, part man, part beast, trapped in his labyrinth and constrained by his bloodthirsty role there, longs to discover his true identity and his own voice. Athens must pay a blood sacrifice to Crete and among the innocents is Theseus, who has come to challenge the violent Minotaur, but who also attracts the attention of Ariadne, half-sister and keeper of the monster; it is with her help he succeeds.

‘Thanks to a superb cast and impeccable playing under Antonio Pappano, the evening is a glittering success. …what Birtwistle has done is give us one opera inside another. The outer one is strident and earthbound; the inner one – ending with the Minotaur's Caliban-like

dying aria – burns with visionary fire.’ The Independent

Bonus Documentary: ‘Myth is Universal'.

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 175 Mins
SOUND: 2.0 LPCM STEREO/ 5.0 DTS SURROUND
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT

“This opera, premiered at the Royal Opera last April, seems to me to be a masterpiece, of the kind that one feels the greatness of before one has a complete understanding of it. …the Minotaur is a terrifying and pained figure. This performance is the climax of John Tomlinson's career, in a part written with his huge, gravelly voice in mind. The other compelling figure is Ariadne... Christine Rice, bearing the weight of exposition and of suffering, uses her wonderfully rich mezzo to stunning effect.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****

“The filming reinforces the strengths of Stephen Langridge's tightly controlled, potently expressive production in an economical yet atmospheric setting, with the whole ensemble totally engaged in the drama's dark enterprise. Repeated hearings underline that, in the end, this tragedy is the more convincing for the way its turn towards pathos does not involve any false consolation.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2009

“Birtwistle's latest large-scale music drama, written for Covent Garden, is a quite different experience on DVD: what might have been planned by composer and stage director to be witnessed from a distance is shown in unsparing close-up.
But this seething, monumental reinvention of one of the most disquieting Greek myths – with a pithy libretto by David Harsent – is neither betrayed nor diminished by this excellent film.
Only in its final stages does the opera's focus shift decisively to the doomed Minotaur from the scheming Ariadne, and the drama's most essential point is that this Ariadne – as different from Strauss's as Birtwistle's Orpheus is different from Gluck's – is in her own way as much of a monster as the half-man/half-bull. These demanding roles are projected with maximum musical eloquence by Christine Rice and Sir John Tomlinson, no doubt because – as Rice makes clear in the absorbing 30-minute documentary that accompanies the performance – what is demanding is also intensely rewarding to singers prepared to commit themselves to a steep learning curve. Equal commitment is evident in Johan Reuter's Theseus, the conventions of heroic posturing given new depth and relevance in text, music and vocal acting alike. We see little of Antonio Pappano and his orchestra, but the excellent sound never lets us escape the inexorable magnetism of the instrumental continuum.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Birtwistle's idiom, always abrasive, has developed here a more lyrical strain...The impact of the opera is greatly heightened not just by the casting but by staging by Stephen Langridge...[Pappano] excels himself, conducting an electrifying performance with orchestra and chorus finely coordinated.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

“The work’s transition to high-definition video is marvellously achieved...the opera’s incarnation on DVD never appears stilted or ‘stagey...The sound qualities of the recording are also outstanding, capable of revealing—in all its shocking majesty—the detail, subtlety and visceral power of Birtwistle’s extraordinary score.” Opera

GGramophone Awards 2009

Finalist - DVD

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - January 2009

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Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OA1000D

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Chin, U: Alice in Wonderland

Chin, U: Alice in Wonderland

World première

Directed and designed by Achim Freyer and Costume Design, Masks, Puppets by Nina Weitzner


Alice in Wonderland: modern music that pleases the ear. Modern opera – seductive, enchanting, sensuous – a triumph of creative fantasy. Recorded live at the Nationaltheater München, 27 June 2007

“Chin…demonstrates a quite remarkable musical assurance in her first opera, welding together all manner of styles…Sally Matthews gives the role [Alice] the performance of a lifetime…by turns lyrically sweet and dramatically expressive… supporting Matthews through this journey is a fine ensemble of singers…then there's Kent Nagano…a tireless champion of new music who coaxes such good things from the Chorus and Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera.” International Record Review

“At 123 minutes it's a little long, but Chin's dreamlike opera feeds entertainingly from Lewis Carroll's strange imagination throughout its length in Achim Freyer's inventive production. It's not particularly child-friendly, although certain scenes - A Mad Tea Party, with its busy Prokofiev-style strings and impish verbal wit for instance - are utterly charming. Chin's score mixes pastiche with original invention, often with exotic instrumentation such as heavy temple bells or the Mock Turtle's harmonica. Sally Matthews is outstanding as the innocent, inquisitive Alice, centre stage and masked throughout, but the biggest cheer goes to Gwyneth Jones's thunderous Queen of Hearts.” The Times, 26th April 2008 ****

“The music...is marvellous and these performances are outstanding. [Matthews] in the demanding lead role as the innocent, continually bemused, occasionally exasperated Alice draws us into this topsy-turvy world. The other cast-members are just as strong...this is a decidedly existential view of wonderland.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

Medici Arts - 2072418

(DVD Video)

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C.P.E. Bach: Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu Wq 240

C.P.E. Bach: Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu Wq 240


Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe, Hillevi Martinpelto (boy soprano), Christoph Pregardien (vocals), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (chorus), Stephen Keavy (trumpet), Peter Harvey (bass), Andrew Watts (bassoon), Philippe Herreweghe (lead vocals), Christoph Prégardien (tenor vocals), Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano vocals), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (featured vocalist), Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent (lead vocals), Philippe Herreweghe (featured vocalist), Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment (lead vocals), Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment (featured vocalist), Peter Harvey/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe, Peter Harvey (featured vocalist), Peter Harvey (lead vocals), Christoph Prégardien/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe, Christoph Prégardien (lead vocals), Hillevi Martinpelto/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe, Hillevi Martinpelto (lead vocals), Hillevi Martinpelto (featured vocalist), Hillevi Martinpelto/Peter Harvey/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Philippe Herreweghe

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Chorus of Collegium Vocale, Ghent, Philippe Herreweghe

Erato - 7777590695

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