Donizetti: La Favorite

DG: 0735358

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Donizetti: La Favorite


Presto Disc of the Week

28th July 2017



Catalogue No:




Release date:

21st July 2017




DVD Video


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Released or re-released in last 6 months

Donizetti: La Favorite

Elīna Garanca (Léonor de Guzman), Matthew Polenzani (Fernand), Mariusz Kwiecień (Alphonse XI), Mika Kares (Balthazar), Elsa Benoit (Inès), Joshua Owen Mills ( Don Gaspar)

Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Chor des Bayerischen Staatsoper, Karel Mark Chichon, Amélie Niermeyer (dir.)

DVD Video - 2 discs

Normally: $19.50

Special: $17.75

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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

The premiere of the French version of Gaetano Donizetti’s La Favorite at the Bayerische Staatsoper on 23 October 2016 was a memorable event and this is why:

• Star mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanca gave her acclaimed theatrical role debut as Léonor de Guzman

• Matthew Polenzani (Fernand) and Mariusz Kwiecień (Alphonse XI) gave their role debuts

• Karel Mark Chichon conducted La Favorite for the first time

• Chichon and the stage director Amélie Niermeyer gave their debuts at the Bayerische Staatsoper

• The last new production of La Favorite at the Bayerische Staatsoper was more than a 100 years ago

To tie in with two further performances at the Bayerische Staatsoper on 26 & 29 July, Deutsche Grammophon is set to release this extraordinary production on DVD/Blu-ray, recorded live on 23 October 2016

The “fabulous Elīna Garanča […] sings beautifully and emotionally restrained, leaving the audience deeply moved during her dying scene”, while Matthew Polenzani, in his debut as Fernand, scores with superb singing and acting, “reaching high tones with ease” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Mariusz Kwiecień “convinces with the proper dandified arrogance and impressive acting”, while conductor Karel Mark Chichon completes the musically fantastic performance by “getting the most out of the Bayerische Staatsorchester, impressively bringing out the dark, viscous sounds of the score and following the soloists with great intuition.” (BR Klassik)

Presto Classical

28th July 2017

“The role of Léonor seems tailor-made for Garanča...her detached elegance and regal hauteur are ideal for this high-end trophy-mistress...When she finally lets her guard down in that great Act Three monologue, the emotional impact is heightened by the restraint that’s gone before...Polenzani, too, sings as if to the manner born, delivering heart-stopping pianissimo top notes and weightless legato.”

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