"One of the few films of its kind which really does distil and epitomise the essence of the man and his music." ~David Kidman
Stage Director Giancarlo del Monaco (the son of the famed dramatic tenor, Mario) flat-out rejects the notion that Cavalleria rusticana or Pagliacci should be performed with anything except each other. In an interview included on this Opus Arte Blu-ray release, del Monaco emphatically notes that these operas represent “the fundamental diptych of realist theater;” that they are “two sides of the same coin.” As with many other productions, del Monaco presents Pagliacci ’s Prologue before the Mascagni work, Tonio appearing in the midst of the audience to underscore that the verismo evening ahead is meant to connect to everyone’s real-world experience. A seamless integration of the two dramas is further highlighted when Turridu’s lifeless body is driven off the stage just as the first chords of Pagliacci are sounding.
A masterpiece of classical dance, and a Christmas favourite with audiences everywhere, this Nutcracker is a magical version of the score by Tchaikovsky filmed at the Bolshoi Theatre. Since its première in Saint-Petersburg in 1892, The Nutcracker has been one of the most successful classical ballets and Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions. Yuri Grigorovich deals with Hoffmann s fantastic imagery and takes ideas from Marius Petipa s scenario: battle of the mice, snowflakes flurry, character dances executed by the dolls that came to life… The most talented soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet appear in this production including Nina Kaptsova (Marie) and Artem Ovcharenko (the Nutcracker Prince) and Denis Savin (Drosselmeyer).
Vladimir Jurowski conducts Rachmaninov's dark setting of Alexander Pushkin's 'little tragedy' with an outstanding performance from Sergei Leiferkus in the role written for the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin. Rahmaninov's dramatically brooding score - beautifully recorded in an atmospheric surround sound - portrays the miser consumed by the power of his glinting gold, as it pushes him to his ultimate collapse.
“Glyndebourne has a first-rate lyric comedian in Alessandro Corbelli and a conductor who handles the music with feeling for its tenderness as well as its brio. The lovers, Sally Matthews and Massimo Giordano, bring fresh voices and good looks, and among the mean old relatives Felicity Palmer's brazen-voiced Zita is a joy. Small parts like the Notary's assistants the boy who brings the news that Gianni is on his way are played with relish, and even the corpse of Buoso Donati comes to life as he falls out of the cupboard where he has been bestowed and takes a brisk curtain-call at the end.” (Grammophone)
John Copley’s enduring production of one of the most famously melodious and popular of all operas is a classic of the Royal Opera repertory. With historically accurate designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman and an excellent cast headed by Hibla Gerzmava and Teodor Ilincai, this 2009 revival, in which conductor Andris Nelsons makes a distinguished Royal Opera House debut, does full justice to Puccini’s masterpiece. Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true surround sound.