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Live from the Royal Opera House
David McVicar's spectacular 2004 production of Gounod’s Faust, featuring a divine cast of opera’s superstars: Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Bryn Terfel, Simon Keenlyside and Sophie Koch.
McVicar is one of the most innovative and in-demand directors, and his lush, haunting realised vision of Faust received glorious praise. The production revels in a gothic, seamy Second French Empire setting, with the Act V ballet “haunting the imagination long after” (The Independent).
“This is opera at its grandest and best” The Wall Street Journal
“Alagna depicts Faust's transition from Gounod-like ancient to cartwheeling young boulevardier and drug-addled Baudelairean decadent with energy and elegant phrasing...[Terfel] suggests the constant predatory menace beneath the musketeer panache with a curious dignity...[Pappano's] theatrical vigour banishes any trace of Gallic langour, a thoroughly un-fustian Faust.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2011 *****
“surely one of the finest achievements of DVD so far...Alagna dominates vocally in the name-role with a powerful heady lyricism...Gheorghiu sings gloriously as a delightful Marguerite, but the action is underlined by the splendidly bold panache of Bryn Terfel's Mephistopheles” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
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For about eighty years following its premiere in 1859, Gounod’s Faust was the most performed opera on the planet – so much so that the Metropolitan Opera in New York became known as the ‘Faustspielhaus’. Post-war audiences however turned against the work, regarding it at best as a museum piece and at worst, as an example of nineteenth century kitsch. Recently however, Faust has been re-evaluated and modern audiences, appreciative of its magnificent tunes and superb dramatic appeal, have once again fallen under its spell. This 1951 recording captures Eleanor Steber, Eugene Conley and Cesare Siepi in superb voice as they recreate their roles from the beginning of the Bing era at the Met. Bonus items taken from Mireille and Roméo et Juliette give further examples of Gounod’s passionate lyricism.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Sung in Italian
Renata Scotto (Marguerite), Eugenio Fernandi (Faust), Nicola Rossi-Lemeni (Méphistophélès) & Gian Giacomo Guelfi (Valentin), Clara Betner (Siebel), Anna Maria Anelli (Martha), Vincenzo Preziosa (Wagner)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della Rai, Armando La Rosa Parodi
This performance was recorded in Torino on 6th July, 1959.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Giuliano Romagnoli (Faust), Gemma Bosini (Margherita), Fernando Autori (Mefistofele), Gilda Timitz (Siebel), Napoleone Limonta (Wagner), Adolfo Pacini (Valentino) & Nelda Garrone (Marta)
La Scala Milan Chorus & Orchestra, Carlo Sabajno
Faust was first performed in Italy at La Scala, Milan, on 11 November 1862. The Italian libretto was provided by Achille De Lauzières, and published by Ricordi & Co. The recorded version follows this edition very closely, with the omission of the ballet scene and minor cuts in the Waltz, Love Duet, Soldiers’ Chorus and (three) in the final scene. Also the Act IV Prelude and Marguerite’s recitative are omitted. The recording was made by the Gramophone Company’s Milan office over the period 1st – 14th June, 1920 and issued on twenty 12” Green label “Concert-Record Gramophone” discs. The original discs were in mint condition but of course were recorded acoustically without any microphones or electrical amplification. Digital restoration was carried out by Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio and has been applied carefully to avoid digital distortion; surface hiss may seem quite high at the start of CD1, but the Prelude was recorded very faintly and was almost inaudible prior to treatment. Given the age of the set, however, the overall sound quality is most remarkable and allows the superb performances to shine through.
In order to offer this important historical document at special price, we have not printed the libretto in French or English. However this may be downloaded from the Divine Art website or ordered by post.
The CD booklet contains a synopsis of each act as well as brief biographical details of the key performers. The Italian libretto is included. Principal artists are: Giuliano Romagnoli (Faust), Gemma Bosini (Margherita), Fernando Autori (Mefistofele), Gilda Timitz (Siebel), Napoleone Limonta (Wagner), Adolfo Pacini (Valentino), Nelda Garrone (Marta). The Chorus and Orchestra of La Scala, Milan conducted by Carlo Sabajno.
We believe that this is the first time this recording has appeared on CD and is our most important historical operatic release to date.
(also available to download from $20.75)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Massimiliano Tonsini (Faust), Danilo Rigosa (Mephistopheles), Leo An (Valentin), Daniele Biccirè (Wagner), Silvia della Benetta (Marguerite), Daniele Zanfardino (Siebel), Sandra Pacheco Quintero (Marthe)
Orchestra, Coro e Corpo di Ballo del Teatro Coccia di Novara, Marcello Rota
Subtitles: English, French, Italian & Spanish
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.