From his youth, Paolo Castorini, a Sicilian baron, is as attracted to women as they to him. Giovanna, a servant girl, Lillian, a serious girlfriend in Rome, a hostess at a post-war party, Paolo makes love to them all. He also feels dissatisfied with a life only of the body, compared to his journalist friend Vincenzo and his own father, a sober and serious thinker. When his father is on his deathbed, Paolo learns of syphilis in the family and something of the curse of dissolution. Some years later, he resolves to marry Katrina, the pure daughter of the woman he should have married. He wants her purity to redeem him so he can make something of his life. But is it too late?
This production of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” was recorded during the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s great tour to Japan in 1993. Directed by Götz Friedrich and conducted by Jiří Kout, this interpretation of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Isolde was a great success. Wagner’s composition of “Tristan und Isolde” was inspired by his love affair with Mathilde Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
Rossini’s unusual scoring of the drama calls for three tenor supporting roles – here sung to universal acclaim by long-standing Bartoli collaborators John Osborn and Javier Camarena and newcomer Edgardo Rocha. Bartoli’s dramatic command and vocal presence dominate the stage and reveal her artistry to be entering a rich new stage of development.
Lovers of Il trovatore a work famous for its perennially popular cavatinas and cabalettas rightly expect the singers to be at the very top of their vocal game and particularly look forward to the top C at the end of Manrico s stretta, a true do di petto produced not from the head but from the chest. Yet the production of the work that was staged at the end of 2013 by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin jointly run by Daniel Barenboim and Jürgen Flimm deliberately flouted these expectations and traded familiarity for astonishment. Such a reaction was due not only to the two most famous singers of our age, both of whom were appearing onstage for the first time in their respective roles, but also to the company s music director, who made it abundantly clear that he was concerned with more than just a feast for the ears and rousing rum-ti-tum rhythms.
Starring Angela Gheorghiu as the celebrated French actress Adriana Lecouvreur and Jonas Kaufmann as her lover Maurizio, Count of Saxony, Cilea’s verismo drama explores celebrity, romance, jealousy, and death. The trio of sublime voices is completed by Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina as Adriana’s jealous rival, the Princess de Bouillon. David McVicar’s hit production – the first performance of the opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for more than a century – presents the life of the French actress as a blurring of the distinction between fantasy and reality.
The highlight of the 2013 Salzburg Festival in Giuseppe Verdi’s bicentennial year, Don Carlo is conducted by Antonio Pappano and stars Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. “With Antonio Pappano in the pit, Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros brought to their interpretations of the leading role rapturous arcs of phrasing and tone that we have not heard for a generation. Verdi's music can weather mediocrity and still provide audiences with enjoyment … but here he was truly honoured as he would have wished.” (The Telegraph)
Glucks Orfeo ed Euridice is one of music history's most important operas. The cast is led by Bejun Mehta, arguably the best countertenor in the world today (Sueddeutsche Zeitung) as Orfeo, Austrian soprano Eva Liebau as Euridice and Regula Mühlemann as Amore. Director Ondej Havelka combines period details with modern psychological interpretation. The baroque specialist Václav Luks leads the Collegium 1704 and Collegium Vocale 1704. This cinematic edition celebrates Glucks 2014 tricentenary!
Criminal psychologist Dr. Herbert Lyutak (Mickey Hargitay of Bloody Pit of Horror and The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield) is a deranged sex maniac who murders young women. His beautiful wife (the luscious Rita Calderoni of Nude for Satan and The Reincarnation of Isabel) is tormented by visions of medieval torture and lesbian orgies. But as their madness grows more twisted, they will descend even deeper into a nightmare of dementia, depravity and most of all, Delirium!