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.
Mario Bava’s gruesome 1972 genre classic is one you won’t want to watch alone in the dark.
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.
La Forza Del Destino, one of Verdi’s darkest works, receives a decent production from the Florence May Music Festival company. The vocal strengths of the cast compensate for some pretty bare staging and unrelenting darkness of the sets
Rigoletto, one of Verdi’s most popular operas, receives a Teatro di Regio Parma production that is beautifully shot but suffers from the vocal inadequacies of some of its principals.
A rarely performed middle Verdi opera, this Parma production gives us a good reason to watch and welcome a work that will be unfamiliar to many operagoers.
Il Trovatore receives an understaged and mostly undersung performance from the Teatro Regio di Parma. Headliner Marcelo Alvarez is the main reason to watch this Blu-ray, but unfortunately, he is also the only reason to watch it.
The 2011 Rossini Festival gives us a marvelous Blu-ray premiere of a rare masterpiece by one of opera’s greatest composers. Cast, conductor, and director are firing on all cylinders with this one making it an easy recommendation for opera lovers.