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.
This recent Barcelona performance of Dukas’s only and rarely staged opera is given a minimalist updated production but fails to deliver a convincing performance, largely due to some vocal difficulties of its title character and inherent weaknesses in the score and libretto.
Graham Vick and Trevor Nunn have created a major update of this Rossini classic. Transported to the modern middle East, the power of this opera seems extremely relevant to our times, and the cast seems to have caught the spirit, delivering terrific performances.
A bel canto staple, I Puritani receives a somewhat wayward staging that gets in the way of some excellent singing.
Opus Arte gives us a magnificently vital BD of Wagner’s comic masterpiece from the unlikely location of Glyndebourne. Production values are near the top and the young cast is simply super.
La Didone, an altered retelling of the tale involving the Carthagenian queen and the Trojan warrior, is given its due from Les Arts Florissant, their great leader William Christie, and a generally good group of vocalists.
Director Robert Carsen gives Handel’s early opera, Rinaldo, a serious makeover in this 2011 Glyndebourne projection. Recasting this heroic piece as a schoolboy fantasy actually comes to life in a video that is extremely well recorded.
A rarely performed trio of one act operas, Puccini’s Il Trittico gets a great performance by the Royal Opera House forces directed by Antonio Pappano. Strong casting for each opera is upheld for the most part by director Richard Jones concepts.
The Bayreuth Festival has brought us many memorable Wagnerian opera performances. This well-cast 2010 Lohengrin will not be on that list largely due to a bizarre staging concept that overruns the legend of the Swan Knight with rats.
An outstanding all-Strauss program is provided by Christian Thielemann leading his Wiener Philharmoniker forces, including a recital by star soprano Renee Fleming. Great musicianship abounds, and both sight and sound recording are excellent.