CD / DVD Releases – Week of Sept. 18: Rolando Villazón, Thomas Hampson, Strauss, Jake Heggie & A Baroque Specialist Take Centerstage

By David Salazar

After a week of releases dominated by Maria Callas, European opera lovers are getting a ton of options for quality recordings from the world’s greatest artists. In the US, one major CD release will steal headlines.


Rolando Villazón and Ildar Abdrazakov’s new duets, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin will arrive on shelves in the US this week and features duets from “Simon Boccanegra,” “Mefistofele,” “Faust,” “L’Elisir d’Amore,” and “Don Pasquale,” among others.


Thomas Hampson is a marvel for his breadth of repertoire and constant means of expanding his artistry. His latest album, accompanied by Maciej Pikulski, is a fascinating exploration of French music from some of the most recognized French composers, including Gounod, Bizet, Meyerbeer, among others. Chances are you are not familiar with most of the pieces on the album, making the exploration of these great characters all the more fascinating.

 Strauss: Ich Trage Meine Minne

In the UK, opera fans will get to enjoy the voice of tenor Peter Gijbertsen and pianist Jozef de Beenhouwer taking on songs by Richard Strauss. The album will also be available for digital download.


Baroque specialist and soprano Chantal Santon Jeffery will also be releasing an album dedicated to the music of Alessandro Stradella. She is accompanied by the Galilei Consort, led by Benjamin Chénier.

It’s a Wonderful Life

With the stir of Maria Callas’ big set last week, the release of a live performance of Jake Heggie’s  “It’s a Wonderful Life” flew under the radar in the US. UK audiences will get the release this Friday. Patrick Summers conducts in a production from the Houston Grand Opera.




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