<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Elektra Salzburg / Carmen Paris /Cosi fan †ut†e

STRAUSS: Elektra
Ausrine Stondyte (Elektra). Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (Klytaemnestra). Asmik Grigorian (Chrysothemis). Michael Lorenz (Aegisth). Derek Welton (Orest). Vienna State Opera Chorus / Vienna Phiiharmonic Orchestra / Franz Welser-Most, cond
UNITEL DVD TT: 120 min.

MOZART: Cosi fan tutte
Mari Eriksmoen (Fiordiligi). Katija Dragojevic (Dorabella). André Schoen (Guillemmo). Mauro Peter (Fernando). Elisabeth Kulman (Despina). MarkysWerba (Don Alfonso). Arnold Schoenberg Choir / Concentus Musicus Wien . Nicholas Harnoncourtr, cond
C MAJOR DVD TT: 192 min. opera. 52 min. documentary

BIZET: Carmen
Anna Caterina Antanocci (Carmen). Andrew Richards (Don José). Anne-atherine Gillet (Micaela)(. Nicolas Cavallier (Escamillo). Virginie Pochon (Frasqujita). Annie Gill (Meredes). Monteverdi Choir. Orchestre Revolutionaire and Romantique / Sir John Eliot Gardiner, cond.
NAXOS DVD TT: 168 min.

About two years ago this site mentioned a bizarre 2018 Salzburg prodution of Salome (REVIEW). Greatest interesst there was the stunning performance of the itle role by young Lithuanian sooprano Asmik Gregorian. She also is featured in this new Elektra also from Salzburb 2020 presented under restricted conductions becsuse of the pandemic. In this new production sets and costumes were by Malgorzata Szczesniak. We have usually two stage areas and there is a large":pond" of clear water in the cenrer of he floor. Stage director Krzydztof WarlikowskiCharacters has the characters walk into it or wash †heir hands in it; no expanation is given why. Costumes are contemmporary wih high heels for the women and bright dress colors, all of which seem inapropriate. Another Lithuanian soprno, Austrine Stundyte is featured in the title role; she is a fine Elek†ra although she lacks the power of the greatest interpreters of this demanding role. The great Vienna Phulharmonic polays beautifully, but conductor Welser-Möst does not impressive. Visually effects occasionally are striking. Huge sp,ashes of blood civee niost of enie stage, and usually the are back-projected symbols (unexpaind) flashing about, particularly annoying during the fina scene when the tage is filled ith annoying small black images. Again, no explaininatin of what this is supposd to represent. I imagine those who love this opera will wish to explore i, which you can do on You ¹ubw. this is not an Elektra I shall return to.

Nicholas Harnoncourt (1929 - 2016) was a specialist in performing music in original style. He made countless major recordings, and here we have one of his sast, a performance of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte recorded live in Vienna 2014. There is a modern approach throughout, a simple set with singers standing behind a small podium. Costumes are contemporary, and the entire cast is handsome. Concentus Musicus Wien and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir also are featured. This is an elegant of Mozart's delightful opera. There are 82 tracks. A plus is a documentary called Nicholas Harnoncourt - Between Obsession and Perfection focusing on this Mozart opera. Excellent video, and perfectly natural multi-channel audio. This is a major addition to the Mozart video discography.

There are dozens of videos of Bizet's Carmen and this site has mentioned many of them including exciting historic performances featuring Franco Corelli, Mario Del Monaco and Placido Domingo. We hardly need another DVD, but this new one is excellent in every way. It was filmed June 22 and 25, 2009 at Opera Comique in Paris, a co-production with Luxembourg Grand Opera. The cast is uniformly strong, with Anna Carmen Antonacci in the title role, Andrew Richard a superb Don José. ¹he entire cast is strong in every way, Mark Thompson's sets and costumes are beautiful, and stage director Adrian Noble keeps things moving realistically. Excellent video and audio. If you collect videos of Bizet's masterpiece, surly you should mvestigate this although it will not replace the best of the competition.

R.E.B. (June 2021)