Short opera. A boy falls in love with a girl after an Appalachian prayer meeting, but her father wants her to go to the dance with a local shyster who the father thinks will bail him out of his money troubles instead.
Weber was at the forefront of the rise of German Romantic opera and sought to dethrone Rossini from his position as the leading operatic composer in Europe. In his breakthrough and most popular opera Der Freischütz (The Marksman) composed in 1821, he succeeded in his aim of establishing a truly German form. Turning to the folklore and folk songs of his native land he took a story of a marksman who makes a pact with the Devil, vesting it with powerful intensity not least in the famous Wolfs Glen scene and an astonishing control of orchestral color and atmosphere.
Originally commissioned to celebrate the completion of the Suez Canal and the opening of Cairos new opera house, Verdis Egyptian epic Aida is here seen in a spectacular new staging in the Teatro Regio Torino by the Oscar-winning American film director William Friedkin, creator of such famous movies as The Exorcist and The French Connection. The cast features American soprano Kristin Lewis who has been heralded for her remarkable voice, which she uses with powerful dramatic instinct, and Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili, whose Amneris dominates the stage with her dark, rounded, irresistible voice and extraordinary stage presence. Gianandrea Noseda leading the Orchestra and Chorus Teatro Regio Torino received accolaides from all: he controls everything- orchestra, singers, chorus, dancers, acrobats- with an all-encompassing overview. He knows exactly when its time to linger over a timbre, a color, an expressive chord.
Leonard Bernstein's brilliant comic operetta comes to dazzling new life under the guidance of director Lonny Price (A Class Act). Based on the classic Voltaire tale of an innocent young man's journey through a life filled with colorful characters and unexpected life lessons, this tune-filled frolic features Tony Award-winners Patti LuPone and Kristin Chenoweth heading a dazzling cast with Paul Groves, Stanford Olsen, Sir Thomas Allen and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. The impeccable score (with lyrics by luminaries including Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Wilbur and John La Touche) includes a host of delightful songs such as "Life Is Happiness Indeed," "It Must Be So," "You Were Dead, You Know" and "Make Our Garden Grow." Now enjoy this all-new production of a musical comedy favorite with Broadway's top stars!
The definitive version of this rare opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The costume and set design is truly visionary and other worldly and gives a convincing insight into what staged operas must have looked like during the Baroque and Rococo period. Singers are all excellent and well cast in their respective roles. One of the most thrilling things I have seen, just wish I could see this live.
Glyndebourne's celebrated production of Nikolaus Lehnhoff's Tristan und Isolde is a supremely intelligent achievement; gravely beautiful, haunting and meditative, it is deeply reflective rather than visceral, fortified by Roland Aeschlimann's stunningly effective set, a womb-like space through which the protagonists move like gods. Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek mirrors Lehnhoff's approach in his sophisticated plumbing of the score's depths, with every shift in texture carefully laid bare by an inspired London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nina Stemme's Isolde and Robert Gambill's Tristan, both gloriously lyrical, are matched by superb performances from René Pape as the betrayed and vulnerable King Marke and Bo Skovhus as Kurwenal, deeply touching in his helpless devotion to Tristan. This High Definition recording of a production of uncommon intimacy reveals the opera's music and drama in a new light.
Three one-act operas by Puccini: the first a suspenseful tale of cheating lovers; the second a sentimental tearjerker about a mother yearning to hear from her lost child. The third is a dark comedy of greedy relatives and their inheritance.
Memoirs of the Italian Opera by the singers and musicians of the Casa Verdi, Milan, the world’s first nursing home for retired opera singers, founded by composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1896. This documentary, which has achieved cult-like status among opera and music lovers, features former singers who reminisce about their careers and their past operatic roles.
Filmed at the Vienna State Opera in 2005, Andrei Serban's production of Massenet's opera with a late 18th century setting pushes the action forwards to the 1950's,with the visuals exemplifying that decade with precision.With as much delicacy on display as naked passion,his(Alverez)morbid poet is outstandingly realised both vocally and dramatically. Together with Erod's dour Albert and Ileana Tonca's Sophie-clearly in love with Werther herself-the drama is set out with unusual clarity and realism.Philippe Jordan ensures that Massenet's pent-up emotion explodes exactly on cue,its expressive power providing impossible to resist.
Emmanuelle Haïm has established herself as one of the world’s leading performers, conductors and interpreters of Baroque repertoire, not only with Le Concert d’Astrée, the ensemble she founded in 2000, but with several of the world’s greatest orchestras. Known for her fresh and expressive approach to Baroque music, she has garnered critical acclaim and several international awards with her own ensemble, including Victoires de la Musique Classique, ECHOs, Gramophone Awards, and Grammy nominations.
Maria Ewing, as Dido, heads an outstanding cast of young British singers in a film adaptation of Henry Purcell’s much-loved tragic opera. With spectacular sets, this intense tale of heroism, passion, betrayal and ultimate tragedy is played out against a backdrop of fiery rituals, evil spells and pageantry.
Early recordings of Franco Zeffirelli's 2006 production of Verdi's opera which saw Roberto Alagna's high-profile exit during the second performance. Egypt and Ethiopia are at war. Radames is appointed commander of the Egyptian forces by the King, whose daughter, Amneris, loves Radames. It is in fact Amneris' Ethiopian slave Aida whom Radames loves. Ramades wins the war against the Ethiopians, capturing Aida's father Amonasro in the process. On his return to Egypt he faces a choice between marrying Amneris or betraying his country through his love for Aida.
I Vespri Siciliani must me Verdi's most underrated masterpiece. Most people are put off by the fact that it has 5 acts, therefore they conclude that it must be incredibly long. It is long but not as long as some people may fear as most of the acts are under half an hour each. The total length of the DVD in question is 171 minutes, just under 3 hours, including titles at the beginning, applauses and curtain calls between the acts and at the end. The opera contains Verdi's most powerful overture and a number of very elegant arias, duets and ensembles for the principals.
This set has Edita Gruberova singing in top form, all her scooping cast aside, which one finds in abundance in her Lucia under Richard Bonynge. Here, however, she makes ravishing use of those bits of tone that only she can produce: those instances of coloratura and dramatic legato with little asides and small florishes of style that suggest her intelligent approach and her high degree of musical involvement in this role. She does this in her I Puritani and her Anna Bolena, less so in Roberto Deveraux and Maria Stuarda(both sets). Listen to Addio del passato and the Sempre Libra...ravishing, yes, but there are again those nuances learned from Callas that she makes her own. A very singualr perform,ance, and extremely moving with its detail and cry for pity throughout..from the start even. Neil Schicoff is excellent, not an unworthy Alfredo at all! His is a great lyric tenor voice that should have been in the top line.
In this musical, an enigmatic masked woman catches the roving eye of a wily playboy gambler at a masquerade ball. If he knew that she was using her wiles as bait and was planning to reform him of his gambling womanizing ways after catching him, he may have head for different waters.
This May 2010 production of Massenet's 1910 opera "Don Quichotte" marked the opera's centenary and also Jose Van Dam's operatic farewell at the Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels. It is beautiful in every way--vocally, scenically, sonically, and visually--and a worthy record of Van Dam's farewell. Van Dam is just shy of 70 in this production, but you would never guess it from his singing or stage movements--a consummate artist. His is a noble portrayal and deeply moving. The Act V death scene is a model of beautiful singing and acting.
Maria Callas’ legendary live performances from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, from 1962 and 1964 celebrate her triumphant return to the Covent Garden stage. Repertoire from these performances include Verdi: Tu che le vanità (Don Carlo), Bizet: Habanera & Séguedille (Carmen) and Puccini: Tosca (Act II complete). Her vivid portrayals of the tragic Elisabeth de Valois, the tantalising Carmen, and her vulnerable Tosca (directed by Franco Zeffirelli) captured the hearts of the London audiences. This is Maria Callas as the world remembers her. Renato Cioni, Tito Gobbi, Robert Bowman, Dennis Wicks Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden- Conducted by Georges Prêtre & Carlo Felice Cillario.
There are elements of Eurotrash in this outdoor Aix-en-Provence summer opera production. Nevertheless, the splendid singing and acting transform the story, normally treated as farce, into something considerably more serious. As many other critics have noted, the young lovers have not yet sorted everything out as this performance ends. Act One begins with the principal characters running around in the outdoor theater -- while the audience takes it in as if they had been advised to sit back and enjoy the novelty. Very likely they were also asked to refrain from applauding at the end of arias and ensemble pieces, in which the three-hour opera abounds.