For her third solo recording Olga Peretyatko summons the two men who launched her career less than a decade ago: the first one is conductor Alberto Zedda, who discovered the then-unknown Russian soprano in an audition in Germany; and the second one is Gioacchino Rossini himself. Indeed, Zedda, artistic director of the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, immediately cast her as Desdemona in a production of Otello featuring big names such as Juan Diego Flórez and Gregory Kunde, and a star was born, who very soon graced the stages of the most prominent opera companies firmly ensconcing herself among the A-listers. Her beauty, her fashion sense as well her high-profile marriage with another fast rising talent, former enfant prodige conductor Michele Mariotti, certainly did not hinder her career; neither did an exclusive recording contract with Sony. Read more »
There is a simple elegance to the single-composer recital album format. For the listener in the mood for, say, Puccini, it’s a chance to delve into his music without any pesky interruptions by those other guys like Verdi or Massenet. And if one is also in the mood for a particular singer’s art, then the choice is even more straightforward.
For the singer, it is an opportunity to showcase and explore the variety and nuance that a single composer offers to his/her voice type, while also displaying his/her own skill at presenting a varied recital experience within narrow confines. Read more »
The studio opera recording is a rare beast these days and its arrival always a cause for celebration. Its rarity also raises the stakes and invites scorn when the casting is dubious. Few things strike greater fear in the heart of an opera lover than the dreaded Andrea Bocelli announcement as part of a recording project. (What’s the point of getting Fleming, Borodina, and D’Arcangelo into the recording studio, putting up with Gergiev’s body odour, only to have the whole project doomed from the start?) Read more »
Anja Silja staked a claim as a leading Senta of her era with a series of searing performances of Der Fliegende Holländer while in her early twenties.
Exclusively for you, the loyal parterriani, here’s a sneak preview video from Joyce and Tony: Live at Wigmore Hall.
I was once accused—by my own mother, mind you!—of having too many recordings of Verdi’s Aida. The blistering audacity of that recrimination did get me to thinking: How many recordings of Aida is too many? I mean, you’ve got the old classic you cut your teeth on. Then there’s he one where the tenor and the mezzo are really the only good thing going. And, of course, the one with your favorite soprano in the title role, the remake when she switched labels, and then the four pirates. Don’t forget the one with another favorite soprano, but this time she’s [...]
I’m a long-time fan of the Opera in English series funded by The Peter Moores Foundation that started, fittingly enough, with conductor Reginald Goodall’s performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle recorded live from the London Coliseum and released by EMI
Aribert Reimann’s 1978 opera Lear, based of course on Shakespeare’s titanic tragedy King Lear, is a major achievement in modern operatic scoring.