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.
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.
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.
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.
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.