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Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Recorded live at Glyndebourne, Lewes, July 2011


Gerald Finley (Hans Sachs), Anna Gabler (Eva), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Marco Jentzsch (Walther von Stolzing), Topi Lehtipuu (David), Michaela Selinger (Magdalene), Alastair Miles (Veit Pogner), Henry Waddington (Fritz Kothner), Mats Almgren (Nightwatchman), Colin Judson (Kunz Vogelgesang), Andrew Slater (Konrad Nachtigall), Alasdair Elliott (Balthasar Zorn), Adrian Thompson (Ulrich Eisslinger), Daniel Norman (Augustin Moser), Robert Poulton (Hermann Ortel), Maxim Mikailov (Hans Schwarz), Graeme Broadbent (Hans Foltz)

London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Glyndebourne Chorus, Vladimir Jurowski (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)

English-speaking audiences have always found Die Meistersinger to be a life-enhancing celebration of wisdom, art and song. So it proves in David McVicar's production – the first at Glyndebourne – which is updated to the early-19th century of Wagner's childhood. At the centre of a true ensemble cast is Gerald Finley, a 'gleamingly sung', 'eminently believable' Sachs (The Independent on Sunday), supported by the dynamic conducting of Vladimir Jurowski which, like McVicar's production, uses Glyndebourne's special intimacy to bring sharp focus to bear on the subtlety of Wagner's musical and dramatic counterpoint.

What the press said:

[‘‘McVicar has put on a great show with style, intelligence and insight’’ The Telegraph

‘‘Musically, it was judged faultlessly for the scale of the theatre by Vladimir Jurowski, who conjured playing of mercurial clarity – not the first words one would normally choose for this gargantuan score – from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, sustained with unfailing vigilance and concentration.’’ The Guardian

Duration: 300 minutes

Regions: All

Sound Type: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

“The camerawork – mostly close-up – is superb, focusing on the intimacy of the Glyndebourne stage and the visual expressiveness of a young cast. Vicki Mortimer’s Biedermeyer sets are notably more handsome on film than in the theatre, and the performance (captured late in the inaugural run) breathes a general air of wellbeing” Financial Times, 22nd September 2012 ***

“McVicar's staging stokes the glow of Meistersinger's humane heart...and above all he reminds us that this is an opera about youth and self-discovery. Gerald Finley's pivotal Sachs relish[es] this intensely verbal role with a Lieder-singer's skill and beauty...Jurowski completes the ensemble with a beautiful account, unfolding the story with pace and details...Together they make the immense performance the most uplifting performance I can recall” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 *****

“Jurowski handles the score with seriousness and pomp...Finley has the role of Hans Sachs massively in focus, both musically and dramatically. He is compulsively watchable throughout...McVicar's production is best at one-to-one emotional confrontations but rather loud and messy in ensemble scenes...it would be mealy-mouthed not to notice the commitment and enthusiasm steaming off the stage, while Finley's work has to be seen and heard” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - December 2012

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Opus Arte Glyndebourne - OABD7108D

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Bellini: I Puritani

Bellini: I Puritani

Recorded live at the Netherlands Opera, October 2009


Daniel Borowski (Lord Gualtiero Valton), Mariola Cantarero (Elvira), Riccardo Zanellato (Sir Giorgio), John Osborn (Lord Arturo Talbot), Scott Hendricks (Sir Riccardo Forth), Gregorio Gonzalez (Sir Bruno Roberton), Fredrika Brillembourg (Enrichetta di Francia)

Chorus of the Netherlands Opera & Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Giuliano Carella (conductor) & Francisco Negrin (director)

In Vincenzo Bellini’s last opera, Elvira’s love for Arturo overcomes the power-games in Puritan England, staged with darkly dramatic flair by Francisco Negrin as a world of blind dogma. Mariola Cantarero is compelling as the heroine on the verge of insanity in one of the greatest mad scenes in the history of opera. One of the leading lyric tenors today, John Osborn sings Arturo with fearless commitment and some spectacular top notes. In the pit is the bel canto specialist Giuliano Carella.

Running time: 173 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/DU

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Negrin gets some excellent performances from his cast, who are able to express emotion without being either hammy or cheesy. Scott Hendricks as the rejected lover sings nobly after a gusty start...Osborn manages a stupendous top F, non-falsetto, and his singing in the trio, lyrical but desperate, is even more wonderful...Go on, give it a whirl.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2013

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Opus Arte - OABD7111D

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Cavalli: La Didone

Cavalli: La Didone

Recorded live at the Théâtre de Caen, October 2011


Anna Bonitatibus (Didone), Kresimir Spicer (Enea), Xavier Sabata (larba), Maria Streijffert (Ecuba) & Katherine Watson (Cassandra)

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (conductor) & Clément Hervieu-Léger (director)

One of the first operas deserving of the name, Didone is our first surviving musical version of the famous episode in Virgil's Aeneid where the Trojan hero loves and then cruelly leaves the noble Dido. Cavalli learnt at the feet of Monteverdi, and his dramatic transformation of the story is all the more expressive for its intimacy, worthy of the examples set by his master. At the centre of this bold and simple staging – the first opera production by comic actor Clément Hervieu-Léger – is the Queen of Carthage herself, sung with uncompromising intensity by Anna Bonitatibus. William Christie and his singers and players show themselves entirely attuned to the world of Cavalli, where meaning and music fuse.

Running time: 176 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“It's a fascinating piece. Cavalli treats Giovanni Busenello's libretto with dignity in a responsive setting...So, too, does Hervieu-Leger, capturing its complex narrative and emotional interactions with flair. There are no weak links in the cast, who impress as a real ensemble of actors...as always, Les Arts Florissants perform with enormous style.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2012 *****

“With a small orchestra of solo strings, continuo and a couple of woodwind, the focus is very much on the declamatory skills of the singers. Anna Bonitatibus is outstanding, especially in her confrontation, impassioned but dignified, with Aeneas...elegant, well-paced conducting from William Christie.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2012

“Anna Bonitatibus as Dido is first-class; her powerful mezzo voice is as resplendent as her wonderful name and Krešimir špicer’s Æneas is hardly far behind...Christie’s direction can almost be taken to guarantee a fine performance and that’s the case here...If you wish to have only one Cavalli recording in your collection, this would vie strongly for that honour” MusicWeb International, October 2012

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - Awards Issue 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - November 2012

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Opus Arte - OABD7106D

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Handel: Rinaldo

Handel: Rinaldo

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Opera House, Lewes August 2011


Sonia Prina (Rinaldo), Varduhi Abrahamyan (Goffredo), Tim Mead (Eustazio), Anett Fritsch (Almirena), Brenda Rae (Armida), Luca Pisaroni (Argante) & William Towers (A Christian Magician)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Robert Carsen (Stage Director) & Ottavio Dantone (Conductor)

Skin-tight rubber and lacrosse sticks bring contemporary chic to this timeless fantasy of warriors and witches in Robert Carsen's fun-filled transformation of Handel's first London triumph. Conducting from the keyboard just as Handel himself did, Ottavio Dantone leads a youthful cast of today's luminaries in the dramatic art of Baroque opera, the 'affecting' Sonia Prina, the 'unadorned intensity' of Anett Fritsch and 'fire-breathing flair' (The Observer) of Brenda Rae.

Glyndebourne continues to celebrate the genius of Handel with its first staging of Rinaldo, the work with which he made his sensational London debut – and the first Italian opera specifically created for the British stage.

Rinaldo is given a contemporary new twist through the eyes of Director Robert Carsen, who made his Festival debut with L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2008.

Early music specialist Ottavio Dantone, Music Director of the acclaimed Italian period ensemble Accademia Bizantina conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

The cast is headed by Sonia Prina in the title-role of the heroic crusader, with Anett Fritsch as his beloved Almirena, Brenda Rae as the seductive Saracen sorceress Armida, and Luca Pisaroni (last summer’s Leporello) as her duplicitous ally Argante, the King of Jerusalem.

Running time: 190 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“Despite major reservations about the concept, it's impossible to deny the effectiveness of the staging...All the individual performances are well-acted; the Blu-ray edition providing added detail. Vocally, too, there are some impressive offerings...Dantone conducts a strongly characterised performance founded on the alert playing of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2012 ***

“none can top the presence and authority of Luca Pisaroni’s Saracan [sic] king Argante. Directing from his tinkling harpsichord, Ottavio Dantone encourages the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment to be light, bright and Italian. Listen wholeheartedly; watch with caution.” The Times, 3rd August 2012 ***

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Opus Arte - OABD7107D

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Puccini: Il Trittico

Puccini: Il Trittico

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, September 2011


Il Tabarro

Lucio Gallo (Michele), Aleksandrs Antonenko (Luigi), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Giorgetta), Alan Oke (Tinca), Jeremy White (Talpa), Irina Mishura (La Frugola), Ji-Min Park (Venditore), Anna Devin, Robert Anthony Gardiner (Due Amanti)

Suor Angelica

Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica), Anna Larsson (La Zia Principessa), Eryl Royle (Suor Osmina), Anna Devin (Suor Genovieffa), Kathy Batho (Novice), Elizabeth Key (Suor Dolcina), Elizabeth Woollett (Nursing Sister), Gillian Webster, Kathleen Wilder (Due Cercatrici), Irina Mishura (La Badessa), Elizabeth Sikora (Maestra delle Novizie), Elena Zilio (La Suora Zelatrice)

Gianni Schicchi

Lucio Gallo (Gianni Schicchi), Ekaterina Siurina (Lauretta), Francesco Demuro (Rinuccio), Elena Zilio (Zita), Rebecca Evans (Nella), Marie McLaughlin (La Ciesca), Jeremy White (Betto di Signa), Gwynne Howell (Simone), Robert Poulton (Marco), Alan Oke (Gherardo), Filippo Turkheimer (Gherardino), Henry Waddington (Maestro Spinelloccio), Enrico Fissore (Ser Amantio di Nicolai), Daniel Grice (Pinellio), John Molloy (Guccio)

Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano (conductor) & Richard Jones (director)

This is The Royal Opera’s first complete presentation of Puccini’s Il trittico since 1965. Leading director Richard Jones staged his witty, darkly comic realization of Gianni Schicchi for The Royal Opera in 2007, and here he completes the trio.

3 DVDs for the price of 1

Leading director Richard Jones staged his witty, darkly comic realization of Gianni Schicchi for The Royal Opera in 2007.

The production was revived in 2012 and here he completes the trio with two new productions of Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica.

Antonio Pappano conducts an acclaimed cast including Eva-Maria Westbroek, Ermonela Jaho, Lucio Gallo, Elena Zilio and rising star Francesco Demuro.

These three one-act works were broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and went to cinemas world-wide in February 2012.

Running time: 180 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“a triumph...three wonderfully directed and expertly acted productions. Add in Pappano's impeccable conducting and his valuable introductions to the pieces, and you have a nigh-on ideal Trittico.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 *****

“In the theatre, Suor Angelica packed a stronger punch [than Il Tabarro]. Here, on DVD, it is little short of devastating...Jaho's youthful vulnerability is deeply moving...Gianni Schicchi is a wicked 1960s delight...Outstandingly filmed, this set marks a high point for live opera on DVD...I have no hesitation in making this new Trittico the top recommendation.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012

“Pappano draws consistently fine playing from the orchestra...Gallo is in very good from as Michele...Westbroek gives her all in Giorgetta's contrasting scenes...Jaho dominates [Suor Angelica], of course, and in a role which she had never sung before...Gallo exhibits his facility for comic roles [in Schicchi]...One will have to look far to find a better trio of performances than these” International Record Review, September 2012

“Pappano conducts a riotously raucous Schicchi, a bleak, foreboding Tabarro, and a poignant Suor Angelica in this 2007 Covent Garden production by Richard Jones. I can't think of a better cast for Tabarro than Lucio Gallo, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Eva-Maria Westbroek, and Ermonela Jaho is a harrowingly sorrowful Suor Angelica. Wonderful stuff.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, July 2014

GGramophone Awards 2013

Winner - Opera

GGramophone Magazine

Blu-ray of the Month - October 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD & Blu-ray Choice - September 2012

Blu-ray Disc

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Opus Arte Royal Opera House Collection - OABD7102D

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$33.25

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Wagner: Lohengrin

Wagner: Lohengrin

Recorded live at the Bayreuth Festival, August 2011


Klaus Florian Vogt (Lohengrin), Annette Dasch (Elsa Von Brabant), Petra Lang (Ortrud), Jukka Rasilainen (Friedrich Von Telramund), Georg Zeppenfeld (König Heinrich), Samuel Youn (Der Heerrufer Des Königs)

Bayreuth Festival Orchestra & Chorus, Andris Nelsons (conductor) & Hans Neuenfels (director)

Hans Neuenfels’s striking new production of Wagner’s fairytale opera gives this medieval story of doomed love and sorcery the Bayreuth treatment. As controversial as it is stimulating, this production was the talk of the 2011 Festival, and showcases a new generation of Wagnerian singing talent including soprano Annette Dasch and tenor Klaus Florian Vogt.

Running time: 84 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“If the recording of the live performance had been on CD, I would have been mainly enthusiastic. Andris Nelsons is the most promising Wagner conductor I have heard for a long time, and his account of this glowing, radiant score is broad. The singing is good, too, with a lovely Elsa from Annette Dasch, and a Lohengrin who has magnificent moments.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 **

“This is a rather special Lohengrin...the spacious Bayreuth sound is moulded with exceptional tonal refinement and richness of colour...Vogt has more than enough stamina and vocal authority to sustain the role. All six solo singers are musically excellent and dramatically persuasive, with Petra Lang's excoriating Ortrud and Georg Zeppenfeld's grave yet warm-toned King Henry particularly memorable...The general air of conviction owes much to the excellent cinematography” Gramophone Magazine, October 2012

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Opus Arte Bayreuther Festspiele - OABD7103D

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Renée Fleming in Concert

Renée Fleming in Concert

Recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, August 2011


Strauss, R:

Befreit, Op. 39 No. 4

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Winterliebe Op. 48 No. 5

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Traum durch die Dämmerung, Op. 29 No. 1

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Gesang der Apollopriesterin Op. 33 No. 2

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Arabella: excerpts

Renée Fleming (soprano)

Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64


Gloriously affirming the Salzburg Festival’s long-standing reputation as a supreme musical event, this concert honours one of its founding fathers, Richard Strauss. Renée Fleming, Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra unite for a programme of song, opera and tone poem, genres central to the composer’s extraordinarily fruitful career. Fleming interprets four of his songs with orchestra, including the deeply moving Befreit, and provides a substantial taste of perhaps her finest operatic role, Arabella. New vistas then open as Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic take the spectacular mountain journey mapped by the composer in his titanic Alpine Symphony.

Running time: 84 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“This is a rare case of visuals enhancing the listening experience, and the Vienna Philharmonic’s Strauss tradition is there for all to see. Thielemann doesn’t push or pull the music, but he is not a pretty sight: his left hand remains inexpressive...there is still no soprano I would rather hear in the soaring lines of “Traum durch die Dämmerung” and “Gesang der Apollopriesterin”.” Financial Times, 19th May 2012 ****

“You can immediately hear the classiness of the orchestral support...Thielemann's journey up the mountain is more a question of inner feeling than outward tone-painting...But the summit sequence and the epilogue rival Herbert von Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic for tonal opulence...the cameras always know what to pinpoint in order to highlight visually Strauss's most ingenious orchestral passages.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 *****

“Thielemann, whose reading is satisfyingly spacious, reveals the work's structural mastery in intermingling and transforming its many themes. The excellent video director Michael Beyer expertly lays out the orchestra in front of us, following the music sensibly so that we can relish Strauss's detailed scoring...[Fleming] sings gloriously and the result is ravishing” Gramophone Magazine

“it is more fun to actually see the players (kudos to video director Michael Beyer) than merely to listen...And no one will accuse the reading [of Ein Alpensinfonie] of not being exciting and the playing superb...In all, this is clearly a treat for Straussians and Fleming fans; she has been both better and worse, but overall, she's lovely here.” International Record Review, September 2012

BBC Music Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray Choice - August 2012

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Opus Arte - OABD7101D

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Strauss, R: Die Frau ohne Schatten

Strauss, R: Die Frau ohne Schatten

Recorded live at the Salzburg Festival, July 2011


Stephen Gould (The Emperor), Anne Schwanewilms (The Empress), Michaela Schuster (The Nurse), Wolfgang Koch (Barak, the Dyer) & Evelyn Herlitzius (Barak’s Wife)

Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, Salzburg Festival Children's Choir & Vienna Philharmonic, Christian Thielemann (conductor) & Christof Loy (stage director)

Already brimming with symbols and transformations, the epic fairytale recounted by Strauss and his librettist Hofmannsthal in Die Frau ohne Schatten acquires a further allegorical dimension in Christoph Loy’s inventive production for the Salzburg Festival. The central character, the Empress – half-spirit, half-human, and unable to bear children until she finds a shadow – here becomes a young soprano who makes a voyage of personal and professional discovery as she records the opera. A superb cast fulfils the complex vocal and dramatic demands of the piece while Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic rise gloriously to the challenges of Strauss’s most ambitious and splendid operatic score.

Premiere recording of this production.

Christian Thielemann’s first opera performance at the Salzburg Festival.

First opera from Salzburg Festival to be released on Opus Arte.

Extra features include 'Christian Thielemann rehearses 'Die Frau Ohne Schatten', and cast gallery.

Running time: 220 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“Evelyn Herlitzius and Wolfgang Koch inject drama as a couple experiencing marital difficulties...[the Empress] is central throughout, compellingly acted and luminously sung by the marvellous Anne Schwanewilms...Holding it all together are the clearly articulated text and a magic carpet of sound that's down with assurance by Christian Thielemann...Orchestral detail has tremendous clarity and the documentary extra includes pithy insights from cast and crew” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“Loy's Personregie works well for nearly every singer...The VPO under Christian Thielemann is impeccable...[Thielemann] brings a perceptive though-line to this vast structure, and he cares as much about intimacy as about grandeur...The stand-out onstage is Michaela Schuster (Nurse), vocally magnificent and revelling in her characterization...Schwanewilms's Empress embodies dignified feminine beauty and dignity...her pristine timbre eminently suits the role.” International Record Review, June 2012

“This production doesn’t actually stage the plot of the opera as such, but rather presents it as a series of recording sessions...It does make for an extremely static experience...Fortunately, though, the singing is consistently magnificent, and so you can just revel in a marvellous performance of one of Strauss’s most colourful scores.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical, 9th July 2012

“As an exercise in demonstrating a director’s power, it’s strangely impressive; as a way of experiencing the opera, it’s persistently, excruciatingly frustrating.” Opera

Presto Disc of the Week

9th July 2012

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Opus Arte - OABD7104D

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Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea

Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea

Recorded live at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, February 2009


Miah Persson (Poppea), Sarah Connolly (Nerone), Jordi Domènech (Ottone), Franz-Josef Selig (Seneca), Maite Beaumont (Ottavia), Dominique Visse (Nutrice/Arnalta), Ruth Rosique (Drusilla), Guy de Mey (Lucano), William Berger (Valletto), Marisa Martins (La Fortuna/Pallas Athene/Venus), Judith van Wanroij (Damigella/La Virtu)

Baroque Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Harry Bicket (conductor) & David Alden (stage director)

Love conquers all – ruthlessly and irresistibly – as Emperor Nero and his mistress Poppea remove the obstacles to their union. At Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu David Alden’s visually sumptuous production, with its suggestions of a giant game of chess, puts the opera’s potent blend of sex and politics in a context that sets ancient against modern– just as the action juxtaposes scurrilous comedy and stark drama. Monteverdi’s magnificent score, meanwhile, accommodates intrigue, wit, nobility, tragedy and sensuality, and, led by the intense Sarah Connolly and the delectable Miah Persson, the cast brings both drama and music startlingly to life.

Monteverdi's final masterpiece.

Harry Bicket is an internationally renowned early music specialist.

Sarah Connolly recently appeared in the BBC's Opera Italia series, performing a scene from Poppea.

Bicket says of Poppea, 'this is one of the best librettos ever written for an opera.'

Extra features include an illustrated synopsis and cast gallery.

Running time: 183 minutes

Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/Catalan

Sound format: 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

“this Barcelona interpretation by [Alden] is almost Brechtian in the spare objectivity of its stage set, and Expressionist in its use of the shadowy, zombie-like figure of Time that shuffles across the back of the stage...Persson is a superb Poppea who can really act with her voice but whose body seems constrained by the direction...The orchestral accompaniments are nicely varied.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2012 ****

“a punchy 2009 performance of distinctively dark musical colouring...Nothing is overly camped up - even Dominique Visse in loud, bra-flashing drag...The whole is acutely paced and supported by Harry Bicket's orchestra, thei performance a reminder of how much progress has been made in the realisation of early Venetian opera in the last half-century...The hand-picked European cast is in fine fettle, Connolly's Nero outstanding” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012

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Opus Arte - OABD7105D

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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin

Recorded live at De Nederlandse Opera, June & July, 2011


Olga Savova (Madame Larina), Krassimira Stoyanova (Tatjana), Elena Maximova (Olga), Nina Romanova (Filipjevna), Bo Skovhus (Jevgeni Onjegin), Andrej Dunaev (Vladimir Ljenski), Mikhail Petrenko (Vorst Gremin), Peter Arink (Petrovitsj), Roger Smeets (Zaretski), Guy de Mey (Monsieur Triquet) & Richard Prada (Zapevalo)

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mariss Jansons (conductor) & Stefan Herheim (stage director)

Described by Tchaikovsky as ‘lyric scenes’, Eugene Onegin receives a spectacular reinterpretation from the Norwegian director Stefan Herheim. His productions create controversy and excitement around Europe, and here he takes Pushkin’s story of illusion, disaffection and frustrated love, and places the protagonists – world-weary Onegin and naïve, passionate Tatyana – in a triple temporal perspective, referencing the theatrical present, the period of the work’s composition, and the pageant of Russia’s history. Mariss Jansons, renowned for his mastery of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, conducts this performance from Amsterdam’s Muziektheater.

‘Put too much steam into Tchaikovsky’s score and it wilts. Be too shy and retiring, on the other hand, and the tragic momentum evaporates. Jansons sets us on a simmer and gradually turns the heat to boiling. It is magisterially paced, stunningly played and, seemingly effortlessly, Jansons captures every aching nuance. […] Herheim’s innovations are often throbbingly acute (and sometimes wickedly funny).’ The Times

Extra features:

Cast gallery

30-Minute Documentary Film

Running time 151mins

Region Code All regions

Picture format 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS

Menu languages EN

Subtitles EN/FR/DE/IT/ES

“Forget any sense of intimacy in Tchaikovsky's lyrical scenes in this Eugene Onegin; director Stefan Herheim's approach is one of kaleidoscopic excess...No doubt about it, though, this is musically world-class. Mariss Janson's conducting, very imposing in the big moments...accords with the broad brushstrokes of Herheim's production. But the singers are vocally near ideal. Krassimira Stoyanova's Tatyana is thrillingly secure as well as vulnerable” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ***

“Herheim sees the opera as a representation of memories...I suspect that this would be impossible to follow if you didn't know the opera beforehand...it's hard not to get caught up in the sheer chutzpah of the production...[Stoyanova] sails through the Letter Scene with plenty of fire...Star of the evening is the conductor Mariss Jansons. It's clear from the documentary that he loves the work..and he plays it with a rhythmic vitality” International Record Review, May 2012

“Characters not only invade each other's memories but appear in fantasy form...Still, this isn't a Regie-Theater free for all...Herheim directs so many keen moments of character interactions that there's no danger of the opera lapsing into simplistic cliches...what a treat to hear an appealing, soft-grained version of [Skovhus's] voice in the title-role...what linguistic authority and depth of soul [Stoyanova] brings to the character!” Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

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Opus Arte - OABD7100D

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$33.25

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