Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (Blu-ray)

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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (Blu-ray)


Presto Disc of the Week

18th March 2016

Gramophone Awards 2016

Shortlisted - Opera

Gramophone Magazine

DVD/Blu-ray of the Month - May 2016



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Release date:

18th March 2016






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Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana & Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (Blu-ray)



Jonas Kaufmann (Canio), Maria Agresta (Nedda), Dimitri Platanias (Tonio), Alessio Arduini (Silvio), Tansel Akzeybek (Beppe)


Cavalleria Rusticana

Jonas Kaufmann (Turiddu), Liudmyla Monastyrska (Santuzza), Ambrogio Maestri (Alfio), Annalisa Stroppa (Lola), Stefania Toczyska (Mamma Lucia)

Staatskapelle Dresden, Sachsischer Staatsopernchor, Christian Thielemann



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Read Presto's complete review of this disc here

As comparably short operas, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are often billed together, but seldom is the lead tenor making his double role-debut as Turiddu and Canio on the same evening. At the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival Jonas Kaufmann did just that - to rapturous praise. Universally hailed as a coup for Kaufmann, the plaudits were also showered on Philipp Stölzl for his innovative compartmentalized staging which included live video projections while referencing the era of black-and-white movies.

Gramophone Magazine

May 2016

“We have plenty of the thrilling, untrammelled and ringing sound that the tenor is capable of at his best...Happily, Kaufmann’s outstanding central performances are well matched, both musically and scenically...on his own terms, Stölzl creates a drama of real intensity...Thielemann is always aware of the drama and the beauties of the playing are many.”

Presto Classical

Katherine Cooper

18th March 2016

“Rather than heart-on-sleeve slancio, [Thielemann] gives the music plenty of space, as well as elegance and delicacy when required...Stölzl’s innovative use of split staging and close-ups of characters who are ‘off-stage’ always enhances the main action rather than being a distraction from it...If this Cav is all monochrome and claustrophobic, Pag is a riot of colour and energy.”

Classics Today

“one of the most gripping accounts of these two operas I’ve encountered...Thielemann is a surprise entry into the world of verismo. He wrings every bit of blood and thunder out of each score...The great tenor is in superb voice and acts up a storm...[Monastyrska] sings magnificently, her huge voice invariably right-on.”

“The German tenor ticks all the verismo boxes, entirely credible as an actor...He sings with southern passion...In both operas, the staging gives us intimate vignettes and a strong sense of continuity...The rest of the casting is very strong...Thielemann brings full-on passion and breadth to these scores, drawing full-blooded and full-toned playing from the Staatskapelle Dresden.”

Limelight Magazine

19th August 2016

“Stölzl’s compartmentalised staging works well, solving problems inherent in the Salzburg stage...Vocally the stars are Kaufmann and Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska. The former is in superb voice, every word clear, top notes ringing...Monastyrska creates a sympathetic Santuzza, her possessiveness making it clear why Turiddù strays.”

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