Anna Netrebko, Sabine Devieilhe, Dawn Upshaw & Asmik Grigorian Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences can experience a new solo album by one of opera’s reigning divas, two new albums by a great coloratura, a world premiere and two new DVDs from recent productions. Here is a look at this week’s new releases.

Amata dalle Tenebre

Deutsche Grammophon releases Anna Netrebko’s new album “Amata Dalle Tenebre,” which marks the soprano’s first studio recording since her 2017 cross-over album “Romanza.”

“Amata Dalle Tenebre” was recorded in the auditorium of the Teatro alla in Milan, with the Scala Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Riccardo Chailly and showcases Netrebko in arias from “Don Carlo,” “Aida,” “Ariadne auf Naxos,” “Tannhäuser,” “Adriana Lecouvreur,” “Pique Dame,” “Madama Butterfly,” “Lohengrin,” “Manon Lescaut,” “Dido and Aeneas,” and “Tristan und Isolde.”

The album includes a deluxe edition with a BluRay disc featuring music videos to the arias of Aida, Lisa, Dido, and Isolde. There will also be exclusive interview content with the soprano speaking about the new album and the arias she chose to record.

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground

Signum Classics will release a recording of Gerald Barry’s work based on “Alice and Wonderland.” André de Ridder conducts the Irish Chamber Orchestra with a cast that includes Claudia Boyle, Clare Presland, Hilary Summers, Gavan Ring, Peter Tantsits, Stephen Richardson, and Alan Ewing.

There will also be a filmed version available from Nov. 5 to Dec. 4 on the Irish National Opera and Royal Opera House’s websites.

Bach and Handel

Sabine Devieilhe explores great sorrow and great joy in sacred and secular arias and cantatas by Bach and Handel.  Recorded with the Pygmalion ensemble and conductor Raphaël Pichon and featuring appearances by baritone Stéphane Degout and lutenist Thomas Dunford, the new album includes Bach’s cantatas “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut” and “Jauchzet Gott in allen Lande,” and excerpts from Handel’s “Brockes Passion” and “Giulio Cesare.”

Achante et Céphise

Rameau’s “Achante et Céphise” receives its world premiere recording, 270 years after its staged premiere at the Académie royale de musique in celebration of the birth of Louis XV’s grandson. Alexis Kossenko conducts tenor Cyrille Dubois and soprano Sabine Devieilhe in the title roles, Les Ambassadeurs and the choral singers of Les Chantres du CMBV.

John Harbison: Diotima

BMOP/sound will release John Harbison: Diotima featuring the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) alongside soprano Dawn Upshaw. Gil Rose conducts the work which includes the first and likely the last music for orchestra written by him Harbison.

“Harbison is BMOP’s long-time friend who both helped build and strengthen contemporary music’s very foundations through advocacy and leadership as well as prolific composition,” says Gil Rose, founder/conductor of BMOP and Harbison aficionado and expert.

Hippolyte et Aricie

Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera is released by Naxos from the Opéra Comique’s 2020 production. The opera stars tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen and soprano Elsa Benoit, with mezzo-soprano Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo and baritone Stéphane Degout. Conductor Raphaël Pichon led the forces of his early-music group, Pygmalion.


Dvořák’s “Rusalka” gets releases on C Major in a production from the Teatro Real. The production by Christof Loy stars Asmik Grigorian in the title role, Eric Cutler as the prince, Katarina Dalayman as, Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev as Vodnik, and Karita Mattila as the Foreign Princess. Ivor Bolton conducts.


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