Recently Naxos issued a DVD of Beethoven's second version of Fidelio (REVIEW). Now they offer this masterpiece in its original form in a superlative performance from Opera Lafayette.This is a period-insrument group founded in 1995 focusing on early repertory. They perform primarily in Washington, D.C. and New York City. This DVD was recorded March 2/4, 2020 in Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College in New York. Laurence Mongeau designed the sets an costumes, and the stage director was Oriol Tomas. The set is simple but effective, moved about by performers. This is an enthusiastic totally professional presentation, with a cast that does full justice to Beethoven's demanding score. Conductor Ryan Brown leads this dynamic performance. Video and audio could not be bettered. This is a fine addition to the catalog, giving opera lovers the opportunity to experience Beethoven's initial thoughts abou his only opera. Detailed program notes by Nizam Peter Kettaneh and Ryan Brown are another plus. This is a major issue!
This ssite has mentioned numerous recordings of Pagliacci, even more of Cavalleria Rusticana, including exciting historic performances featuring Mario Del Monaco, Franco Corelli and Placido Domingo. This latest coupling is from the Dutch National Opera, taped September 2019. Both are first-class performances. Brian Jagerl, who inpressed in the recent video of Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane (REVIEW) is an exciting Tuiddu, matched by soprano Anna Rachvelli's dramatic Santuzza. These are modern productions designed by Radu Boruzescu, costumes by Annemarie Woods. Video is brilliant and razor-sharp, audio perfetly balanced. This is a fine addition to the catalog.
This performance of Prokofiev's magnificent Cinderella was filmed December 29, 1969., a brilliant imaginative production choreographed by Frederick Ashton. Sets are by Henry Bardon, costumes by David Walker. Dancing is magnificent with Antonette Sibley in the title role, Anthony Dowell as a handsome Prince, and the antics of Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann as the two sisters. There are many DVDs of this ballet including an historic 1957 Sadler's Wells performance featuring Margot Fonteyn. This new release was for the BBC where it was telecast Christmas Day 1970.Video is dated and audi Little of interest here.
R.E.B. (April 2021)