La Voix Humaine, Poulenc’s one-act and one-character opera, is given a tour de force performance by brilliant singing actress, Dame Felicity Lott. Its appeal is enhanced further by the solo piano accompaniment of Graham Johnson.
The Solti 100th birthday celebration, commemorating this outstanding musician, is the ultimate realization of Solti’s widow, Lady Valerie Solti, and the World Orchestra for Peace that the late conductor founded. A truly marvelous program of works that Solti knew well is carried off by top orchestral players and singers to the delight of those fortunate enough to be in attendance.
While performed on a practically bare stage, this production of Verdi’s infrequently played I Vespri Siciliani receives superb singing and musical direction.
An opera virtually unknown to today’s audiences, Das Labyrinth is Peter von Winter’s sequel to Mozart’s popular Magic Flute. The outdoor Salzburg Festival performances features a mostly young cast, some stylish singing, and great stage play with clever sets. A most enjoyable watch with great sights and sounds.
Riccardo Chailly continues his traversal of the Mahler symphonic repertory with this uplifting and sensitive account of the Symphony No.4. The Accentus recording team turns in another beautifully executed Blu-ray Disc.
The coupling of the two Gluck Iphigénia operas is a rare occasion, served well by this updated, bare staged effort of the Nederlandse Opera. Excellent singing trumps the lack of sets and the clashing wardrobes.
The Pergolesi revival gives us a rarely staged opera well realized by the forces in the Teatro Valeria Moriconi, Jesi. Stylized ancient costumes on a bare cruciate stage are offset by super vocalism, musical direction and recording properties.
An unusual staging of Haydn’s rarely performed opera receives strong vocal performances. There is some shrillness in the surround version soundtrack that is not noted in the two-channel option.
The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and its assembled soloists and choirs gives us an inspired performance, directed by Ivan Fischer. Excellent visual and audio recording makes this a disc worth owning.
A beautifully performed and filmed Opera Australia production of a classic opera is undermined by less than ideal recorded balance between soloists on stage and orchestra in the pit. Still worth a watch, given the otherwise high performance values.