A strong cast delivers vocal pyrotechnics with sets and effects from the silent movie era in Teatro Communale di Bologna’s Ciro in Babilonia
Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West receives interesting staging and strong performances in this Royal Opera Orchestra performance on Blu-ray
Andris Nelsons and his Bavarian Radio Orchestra forces deliver an exciting program with three Blu-ray premieres that precede an absolutely splendid reading of the Dvorak “From the New World” Symphony.
A subpar Aida from Parma undermined by lackluster singing and less than spectacular staging makes for one that even hardcore Verdi fans would do best to avoid.
Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera receives a satisfactory if not top flight production from the Teatro Regio di Parma forces under Gianluigi Gelmetti. Strong audio and video recording makes up for some vocal unevenness of the leading lady.
This generous offering of two popular Bruckner symphonies is well delivered musically by maestro Thielemann and his players. The audio recording on the Bruckner 4 is less than the best, while perfectly acceptable on the Bruckner 7. Still a bargain on most accounts.
A disappointing La Forza del Destino from Parma offers few vocal highlights and is rescued by the strong solo performance of baritone Vladimir Stoyanov and sympathetic leadership by maestro Gelmetti.
In a field already crowded with excellent Blu-ray Discs of Verdi’s biggest hit, La Traviata, this new one comes in near the bottom. Sub-par singing of its lead soprano is further disadvantaged by boxy and occasionally distorted sound.
A celestial reading of Beethoven’s solemn mass by maestro Harnoncourt and a marvelous vocal quartet and chorus. The Missa Solemnis does not get much better than this inspired performance.
Star soprano Renee Fleming gives us her first Ariadne in this 2012 Baden-Baden production led by top conductor Christian Thielemann. Supported by a strong cast and superb recording properties, this is a great watch if not the definitive performance of this delightful work.