As is now customary, the first part of the 2012 New Year‘s Concert from Teatro La Fenice is exclusively orchestral, with “Symphony No.5” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The second part, with soloists Jessica Pratt, Walter Fraccaro and Alex Esposito as well as the choir, is dedicated to melodrama, ending with the traditional chorus “Va pensiero” from “Nabucco” and the toast “Libiam ne lieti calici” from “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi…
New Year’s Eve Concert 1996 – Dances and Gypsy Tunes The fascinating Russian virtuoso violinist, Maxim Vengerov (winner of the Echo Klassik) lends radiance to the gala performance under the baton of Claudio Abbado. Johannes Brahms’Hungarian Dances and Gipsy Songs; Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane and La Valse and Hector Berlioz’s Hungarian March make this New Year’s Eve with the Berliner Philharmoniker unforgettable. New Year’s Eve Concert 1997 – A Tribute to Carmen The program of the Berlin Philharmonic bore the title «Dances of Life, Love, and Death», and it was hardly coincidental that it was meant as an homage to Carmen. The recording of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s traditional New Year’s Eve Concert, conducted by Claudio Abbado, offers not only a cross section of worldfamous melodies from George Bizet’s opera, but also famous dance music that was intensely or subtly influenced by it. With: Anne Sofie von Otter, Bryn Terfel, Roberto Alagna, Gil Shaham, Mikhail Pletnev. New Year’s Eve Concert 1998 – Songs of Love and Desire Love was the theme of the 1998 New Year’s Eve Concert. And who wrote better music about love than Mozart and Verdi? Maestro Claudio Abbado has chosen two of the best Mozart interpreters, Christine Schäfer and Simon Keenlyside, for this traditionally meaningful event. Marcelo Álvarez from Argentina interprets highlights of the tenor repertoire, and Italian Primadonna Mirella Freni tops the occasion with a breathtaking performance of the Letter Scene of Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin.
This live issue from the 2008 Salzburg Festival centers around Riccardo Muti’s driving, powerful take on Verdi’s score. He gets wonderful, idiomatic playing from the Vienna Philharmonic, and the recorded balance in fact tends to favor the orchestra over the fine, largely fresh-voiced singers. (Muti uses an unusual edition of Act III’s concertato that Verdi wrote for the opera’s Paris premiere, featuring considerable variants in the soprano line and lighter orchestration.)
A major strength of the Parma performances has been the contribution of the theatre’s chorus. So it proves here as well. Along with the choral contribution, and that of the four soloists, I always listen carefully to hear how the conductor controls the dynamics of the opening Requiem Eternam…the thrilling Tuba Mirum…and the Dies irae and its reprise. Yuri Temirkanov, Musical Director of the Teatro Regio, passes my tests with an ethereally quiet opening. Add to this a viscerally exciting lead into the Mors stupebit…
In the title role, Ambrogio Maestri possesses the highest-caliber voice of the cast. As Alice Ford, Svetlana Vassileva…is surprisingly satisfying and inhabits this mischievous role with vivaciousness and charm…Romina Tomasoni [is] a lovable, jovial Mistress Quickly with a warm, sunny contralto to match.
Antonio Gandia‘s sweet tenor and graceful phrasing suit Fenton beautifully…The orchestral playing is crisp and jaunty, and the very young conductor Andrea Battistoni does an admirable job of untangling the musical lines and keeping things cohesive. (Parterre Box)
Alzira is based on the play by Voltaire and displays the composer's maturity through glowing lyric moments, and the weaving together of complex emotional and musical strands.
All act with conviction as they are singing and bring good expression and diction to their roles…In the title role, Junko Saito sings with warm expressive tone, good diction and also acts with conviction. (MusicWeb International)
Parma’s Boccanegra is Leo Nucci…The handsome voice, which once seemed on the light side for Verdi’s heavier, darker title roles, now has the apposite color and weight, and it remains surprisingly firm and focused…he’s honest, commanding and deeply moving. Honest commitment distinguishes his colleagues, too. Tamar Iveri…[has] a lovely, full lyric voice with a welcome authority at bottom, steered by fine musicianship…and a lively, sympathetic temperament and presence. Francesco Meli…sings handsomely and looks properly romantic…Roberto Scandiuzzi…makes a fine, idiomatic Fiesco; and Simone Piazzola…gives promise of a major-league Boccanegra to come. Daniele Callegari, in Parma’s pit, lets the score unfold naturally and compellingly. (Opera News)
This 2007 production from the Teatro Regio di Parma is conducted by Yuri Termirkanov. He has appeared with many leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and La Scala.
"Do we really need another Traviata? Yes! Emphatically Yes! This one! The production by Karl-Ernst Herrmann is lavish. Each act has its individual color. Costumes, also by Herrmann, are period lavish. Staging by Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrman is rich in detail." - American Record Guide
A musically strong and visually spectacular production…In a very traditional staging, Lee brings an enormous amount of visual detail to the opera…Aida and Amneris lead with superb performances, extracting every ounce of the psychological drama of the later acts…The orchestra, under Fogliani’s direction, play with a brilliant palette of colours. (MusicWeb International)
Un giorno di regno is the rare case of a musical comedy by Verdi. But his second stage work proved a complete fiasco when unveiled at La Scala, Milan, in 1840 and more than half a century was to pass before he attempted a second comedy with his final opera, Falstaff. Today, conversely, Verdi’s early melodrama giocoso enjoys increasing popularity thanks to its wellspring of musical ideas and effervescent melodies.