CD/DVD Releases -Week of Feb. 6: Rediscover Rarities In Opera

By Francisco Salazar

This week international audiences will get advance releases of two great operatic works. Let’s take a look!

Francesca da Rimini

Dynamic continues to rediscover some of opera’s rarities and this time the company will release the World Premiere recording of Saverio Mercadante’s “Francesca da Rimini.” The story has been told in popular works by Tchaikovsky and Zandonai. However, with this opera audiences are in for a very different style of music and the new recording is conducted by Fabio Luisi. Starring Leonor Bonilla and Aya Wakizono, this is a recording not to miss. Dynamic will release the opera internationally this week before arriving in U.S audiences later this month.

Placido’s Heroes

ArtHaus will release two of Domingo’s greatest roles in a set called “Best Wishes from Plácido Domingo.” The first is Ponchielli’s “La Gioconda” with Eva Marton and Matteo Manguerra from the Vienna State Opera. The video from 1986 is one of the rare “Gioconda” DVDs and it is a historical performance that was hailed by critics when it was first released.

The second opera in the set is Meyerbeer’s “L’Africaine.” The work is one of the most popular from the French composer but rarely performed in the modern opera world. Thanks to an accomplished cast led by Domingo, Shirley Verrett. Ruth Ann Swenson and Justino Diaz, this opera comes to life from the San Francisco Opera. Recorded in 1988, Maurizio Arena conducted this legendary performance that is a must have.


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