Saturday, November 04, 2017

Opera on DVD

These DVDs fill in some enormous gaps in Metropolitan Opera on demand video listings.  There are of course many more than what I'm showing.

Baroque


The Met is woefully lacking in this area. I like:
 
L’Incoronazione di Poppea Monteverdi 2008 with Danielle de Niese
Dido and Aeneas Purcell Dido and Aeneas with Sarah Connolly
Giulio Cesare Handel Cecilia's Salzburg version 
Orlando Furioso Vivaldi Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Artaserse Vinci Artaserse with 5 Countertenors
Partenope Handel YouTube from San Francisco
Semele Handel Zurich Cecilia
Theodora Handel Theodora from Glyndebourne

I will need to do additional research to find the best version of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, a very significant opera.  But the Danielle de Niese L’Incoronazione di Poppea is a fine Monteverdi example.

Two star Cecilia Bartoli, one from Zurich, Semele, and one from Salzburg, Giulio Cesare.  Operas chosen for the modern productions are Partenope and Theodora.  A modern production can improve a Baroque opera.

Classic

Orphée et Eurydice Gluck Vesseliina Kasarova

The Met on demand has covered this genre, but I will keep searching for examples to add here.    The one shown above is a wonderful performance of the Berlioz arrangement made for Pauline Viardot.



Bel Canto

Otello Rossini Zurich with Cecilia
Le Comte Ory Rossini Zurich with Cecilia
Lucia di Lammermoor Donizetti ROH with Damrau

The Lucia shown above is of a controversial production where Lucia is on the stage for the entire opera.  The murder is shown.

There are many Norma DVDs.  It would be hard to evaluate them all.  Neither Cecilia Bartoli's version nor the recent HD version are currently available.

Giuseppe Verdi


Nabucco Verdi Guleghina
La Traviata Verdi Netrebko from Salzburg
La Forza del Destino Verdi from Munich with Kaufmann
Don Carlo Verdi Salzburg with Kaufmann

The two Kaufmann performances are from the Verdi year.  You would only want these if you enjoy Anja Harteros like I do.  I love the original version of the red dress La Traviata from Salzburg with Netrebko and Villazon.

French and Russian


Ruslan and Lyudmila Glinka Gergiev Netrebko
L'Africaine Meyerbeer Domingo & Verrett
Hamlet Thomas Natalie Dessay
Carmen Bizet Kaufmann and Antonacci 
Manon Massenet Netrebko and Villazon
Pelléas et Mélisande Debussy Robert Wilson

Hamlet is nothing without Natalie Dessay who was ill for the HD.  This DVD of Manon with Netrebko and Villazon is completely charming and much better than the HD.  The Robert Wilson Debussy is quite abstract but beautiful.  I'm pleased to include one Meyerbeer.

Verismo


Cavalleria Rusticana Mascagni Domingo movie
I Pagliacci Leoncavallo Domingo movie
Manon Lescaut Puccini ROH with Kaufmann
La Bohème Puccini movie with Netrebko and Villazon
Tosca Puccini Domingo movie
Adriana Lecouvreur Cilea Gheorghiu and Kaufmann
La Fanciulla del West Puccini Stemme and Kaufmann

I have listed the Domingo movies filmed on location because I enjoy them.  The Tosca which films each historic location in Rome is especially beautiful.  There is also a La Bohème movie with Netrebko and Villazon, but I'm less enthusiastic here.  Some people don't enjoy film versions of operas, and if you are one of these, please skip them.

Jonas Kaufmann is the hot tenor of today, and I like very much his La Fanciulla del West with Nina Stemme.

Richard Strauss


Salome Strauss R ROH Maria Ewing
Salome Strauss R ROH Nadja Michael
Ariadne auf Naxos Strauss R Original from Salzburg

This Ariadne DVD is of an historical performance of what they are calling the "original" Ariadne auf Naxos.  The first version of Ariadne played as a closing piece to Moliere's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.  Historical might lead you here, or perhaps you would be attracted by Jonas Kaufmann as Bacchus.

The Maria Ewing Salome has to be the best operatic striptease ever.  But if you prefer a better sung Salome, try Nadja Michael.  The productions are completely different.

Leoš Janáček 

Jenůfa Janáček Glyndebourne Silja
Káťa Kabanová Janáček Glyndebourne Gustafson
The Cunning Little Vixen Janáček Charles Mackerras Paris
The Makropulos Affair Janáček Glyndebourne Silja
From the House of the Dead Janáček Aix-en-Provence

I am attempting to fill a gaping hole by recommending these DVDs of Janáček operas mostly from European summer festivals. This is an area of opera everyone should have some experience of.  The pickings are shockingly slim.  Janáček plays at the Met but has never been on the HD series. 

Modern Opera


Moses und Aron Schoenberg Vienna State Opera
Porgy and Bess Gershwin Willard White
Lulu Berg Barbara Hannigan
Einstein on the Beach Glass Now on DVD
Il Postino Catán Domingo
Moby-Dick Heggie SFO
Anna Nicole Turnage Westbroek
Written on Skin Benjamin Barbara Hannigan

I enjoy Barbara Hannigan and recommend her DVDs, especially Lulu.  After several decades there is finally a DVD of Einstein on the Beach, a landmark opera.  Save Moses und Aron for later.

Do not miss Porgy and Bess with Willard White.

1 comment:

Paul said...

MEYERBEER DVDs:

Robert le Diable -- ROH production with Brian Hymel and Patrizia Ciofi
Les Huguenots -- Opera Australia, featuring Joan Sutherland's farewell performance
L'Africaine -- SF Opera with Domingo & Verrett (an oldie but goodie)
Il Crociato in Egitto -- La Fenice production with Ciofi and Michael Maniaci