Carlos Álvarez, Lisette Oropesa, Maria Callas & Zachary James Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get to hear a rare recording by Maria Callas, a cover album, two DVDs of popular composers, and a passion project for Ukraine.

Han Gál: Complete Music for Voice, Volume Two

Toccata Classics releases the second album of Han Gál’s choral music. The recording offers a vivid cross-section of music for chamber choir, featuring mixed voices, women’s voices, and male-voice choir, both a cappella and with piano, ranging across four decades.

Eric Schorr: New York Pretending To Be Paris

Eve Gigliotti, Micheal Kelly, and Jesse Darden are joined by the 19 Mercer Ensemble for an album that includes music by Eric Schorr.

Maria Callas Copenhagen Concert

High Definition Tape Transfers releases a rare recording featuring superstar icon Maria Callas. The recording features a Copenhagen concert dating from June 9, 1963 featuring the famed soprano alongside conductor Georges Prêtre leading the Danish Radio Symphony. The CD features music from “Guglielmo Tell,” “Norma,” “I Vespri Siciliani,” “Nabucco,” “Pagliacci,” “Manon Lescaut,” “La Bohème,” “Madama Butterfly,” and “Gianni Schicchi.”

There are also bonus tracks from a previous concert just four days earlier at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-Télévision Française, also with Prêtre. Tracks from that showcase feature passages from “Semiramide,” “La Cenerentola,” “Manon,” and “Werther.”

Nuit et Jour

Rubicon Classics releases Maria Martinova’s latest album featuring the music of Debussy, Ravel, and Zanon. This album is her comeback to her solo career, after years of quasi “religious” dedication to chamber music projects.


Zachary James releases his most personal recording which is a cover album fantasia.

In a statement James said, “I see INTERGALACTIC as my public ‘coming out’ as a music creator on all fronts–performer, writer, arranger, and producer,” notes James. “My musical beginnings started when I was a competition-level child pianist back in Florida. I studied classical and jazz piano and percussion in college while pursuing theatre and voice studies. All of these years later, after an incredible career on stages across the world, it was important to go back to my roots with this album, which celebrates some of my favorite songs and musical collaborators.”

The album includes covers of Madonna’s “Hung Up,” Miley Cyrus’ “Slide Away,” Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” Drake’s “Fake Love” Mariah Carey’s “Cry,” RuPaul’s “Blessed,” Justin Bieber’s “Yummy,” Mika’s “Happy Ending,” Lil Nas X’s “Am I Dreaming,” David Guetta’s “When Love Takes Over,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Roses,” Hailee Steinfeld’s “Starving,” Finneas’ “The 90s,” Ashley Park’s “Mon Soleil” from Emily in Paris, and more.

The album ends with a James’ original, “Here I Come” featuring American rapper King Marino and German multi brass instrumentalist Artem Koryapin. Other featured artists include operatic soprano Megan Nielson, guitarist Frederick Poholek, Italian accordionist Mario D’Amario, French rapper Mondamoiseau, Moroccan guitarist Amine Naami, Mexican ukuleleist Eduardo Espin, Serbian bassist Miladin Stojković Filipino vocal percussionist, Yuri De Guzman, Taiwanese pianist Yi-Chen Jane Lin, and Nigerian pianist Philip Isah. The album was recorded in a variety of cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Omaha, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

La Clemenza di Tito

Alpha releases Mozart’s classic opera with Nicky Spence, Simona Šaturová, Anna Stéphany, Chiara Skerath, Antoinette Dennefeld, and David Steffens. The recording also features Accentus Choir, Opéra de Rouen Normandie, l’Orchestre de l’Opera de Rouen  and conductor Ben Glassberg.

Les Abencérages ou l’étendard de Grenade

BZ releases Cherubini’s opera with Palazzetto Bru Zane. Performed on period instruments, the recording features the Orfeo Orchestra and Purcell Choir led by Hungarian conductor György Vashegyi. Cast members include Anaïs Constans in the role of Noraime, tenor Edgaras Montvidas as Almanzor, Thomas Dolié as Alemar, Artavazd Sargsyan as Gonzalve, Philippe Nicolas-Martin as Kaled, and more.

Mozart – Salieri Requiem

The acclaimed French label Chateaux de Versailles releases a new recording of the Mozart & Salieri Requiems, performed by the choir and orchestra of Le Concert Spirituel led by renowned French conductor Hervé Niquet. The works were recorded on Nov. 19-23, 2021 at the Royal Chapel of Versailles and feature soprano Valentina Naforniţa, alto Ambroisine Bré, tenor Robin Tritschler, and bass-baritone Andreas Wolf as soloists.

Passion for Ukraine

Lena Belkina performs traditional and art songs and is joined by pianist Violina Petrychenko. Some 15,500 Ukrainian songs have been cataloged in the UNESCO audio library of folk songs from around the world. Folk music in the Ukrainian language originated in the 9th century at the time when Kyivan Rus was founded; the authors of the texts of most songs have long since been forgotten. The program on this album includes 15 songs: three romances by four composers (Gregory Alchevsky, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Myhailo Zherbin, and Illia Razumeiko) and three folk songs.


The Royal Opera House releases a production of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” by Oliver Mears. The production stars Liparit Avetisyan, Carlos Álvarez, Lisette Oropesa, and Brindley Sherratt. Sir Antonio Pappano conducts.

Christmas Eve

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s work is released starring Julia Muzychenko, Enkelejda Shkoza, Georgy Vasiliev, Andrei Popov, Alexey Tikhomirov, and Anthony Robin Schneider. Recorded at Oper Frankfurt, the work is conducted by Sebastian Weigle and Christof Loy. Naxos releases.


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