Thousands of music enthusiasts are drawn each year to the Schwetzingen Festival in the time-honored walls of the beautiful Rokokotheater, an ideal place for Rossini's farse, his light one-act operas from the early part of his career. These operas already contain all the elements with which Rossini later took the music world by storm: melodic inventiveness, ingenious connections between sung lines and orchestral accompaniment, musical humor and emsembles using breathtakingly fast parlando singing. The witty and ironical relaization of these musical comedies by Michael Hampe and conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti with a great ensemble of singers was met with enthusiastic approval and makes the present recordings milestones in the still young Rossini videography and the very rare productions in this genre.
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. His work has sometimes been criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and for being essentially melodrama during his early years. He was an atheist. Verdi's masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.
The listener may be forgiven for not knowing that any Debussy "Edgar Allan Poe Operas" existed, for neither of the works recorded here was ever completed. Moreover, and you don't learn this unless you read the notes or have investigated for yourself, one of them was hardly begun. After the success of Pelléas et Mélisande in New York, Debussy was encouraged to adapt a pair of Poe's short stories for a new American production. Debussy needed little encouragement and quickly produced a pair of scenarios, but other projects intervened, and the operas were never finished. The more complete one is La chute de la maison Usher (The Fall of the House of Usher), for which there are substantial sketches and several full realizations including the one here by "creative musicologist" Robert Orledge.
These video recordings all from the Schwetzingen opera festival were recorded in the late 80s and early 90s and originally released on laser disk on the Teldec label.
This set contains 8 operas by Handel in 22 CDs. In many ways, this box is a mix-bag: some of them performed in the "traditional style" with severe cuts, and others in "historically-informed" performances. Selection includes some of the most popular Handel operas and some of the rarely-performed. It's the latter category that one should pay closer attention.
Although Maria Callas died over three decades ago, she remains an icon: as a supreme singing-actress; as a celebrity, and as a woman of great style and elegance. The epitome of the operatic diva, the American-born Greek soprano is recognised as a singer who defined, and even redefined opera in the 20th century and she has never lost her place among the world’s top-selling classical artists.
By December 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had written the defining compositions in every available musical genre of his time: symphony, chamber music, masses, and—above all—opera. Opera was the prestige genre of the time, and Mozart loved it dearly and counted on it heavily for personal, professional, artistic, and financial reasons. Just the thought of opera, as Mozart wrote, made him "beside myself at once."
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture…
Emmylou Harris once called her 1985 release The Ballad Of Sally Rose, one of the singer’s most personal albums, a country opera. The song cycle is based loosely on her short time with influential singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, who died in 1973. Known more for singing songs written by others, this was Harris’ first self-composed album and it remains one of her favourites.