Ileana Cotrubas, Juan Diego Flórez, Nicole Cabell & Rafael Rojas Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences are in for a number of world premiere recordings, archival performances, and leading stars.

Here is a look at what audiences can expect.

Mỹ Lai

The Kronos Quartet releases the world premiere recording of “Mỹ Lai,” the acclaimed opera composed by Jonathan Berger with libretto by Harriet Scott Chessman, on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. “Mỹ Lai” features vocalist Rinde Eckert and instrumentalist Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ, who plays the t’rưng, đàn bầu, and đàn tranh. Violinists David Harrington and John Sherba, violist Hank Dutt, and cellist Sunny Yang make up the Kronos Quartet.

The Ocean of Eternity-The Songs of Lori Laitman

Acis presents a new recording of songs by the celebrated American composer Lori Laitman. Laitman composed multiple operas, choral works, and over 300 art songs. The album features renowned artists in several world premiere recordings. The centerpiece is “The Ocean of Eternity,” scored for the unusual combination of soprano, soprano saxophone and piano. New arrangements of “Vedem Songs” tell the story of the boys imprisoned in the Terezin Concentration Camp, while excerpts from “Ludlow,” Laitman’s opera with librettist David Mason, showcase America’s tragic treatment of immigrants.

The performers are  Nicole Cabell, Alisa Jordheim, Maureen McKay, Patrice Michaels, Yungee Rhie, Katie Hannigan, Daniel Belcher, Tarn Travers, and Michael Couper. The album also includes Andrew Rosenblum, Lori Laitman, Tze-Wen Julia Lin, and ChoEun Lee.

Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia

“Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia,” composed by internationally acclaimed Cambodian composer and survivor of the Khmer Rouge, Him Sophy, is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas of the Cambodian genocide of the late 1970s. Him Sophy worked in collaboration with librettist Trent Walker and Recorded the piece at the National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY. The album features the Metropolis Ensemble and the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir, with Metropolis Ensemble Artistic Director Andrew Cyr conducting.

URLICHT | Mahler and Strauss

Ars Produktion releases countertenor Alois Mühlbacher’s latest album. He is accompanied by his mentor and long-time accompanist Franz Farnberger in a program that includes music by Mahler and Strauss.The new record includes Mahler’s “Fünf Lieder nach Texten von Friedrich Rückert” as well as “Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen” and “Urlicht” from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn.” The CD also includes songs by Strauss.


Arrigo Boito’s rarely performed work will be released from the Bregenz Festival on C Major/Unitel. Olivier Tambosi’s production stars Rafael Rojas, Lucio Gallo, Brett Polegato, Svetlana Aksenova and Alessandra Volpe. The Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Vienna Symphony are led by Dirk Kaftan.

Don Carlo 

London’s Royal Opera revived Luchino Visconti’s classic 1958 production of Verdi’s five-act Don Carlo to great acclaim in 1985, with Bernard Haitink leading Ileana Cotrubas, Luis Lima, Bruna Baglioni, Giorgio Zancanaro, and Robert Lloyd. Opus Arte rereleases the classic.

L’Ėtoile du Nord

Naxos releases a recording from the Wexford Festival Opera’s 1996 performance of Meyerbeer’s “L’Ėtoile du Nord. The recording stars bass Vladimir Ognev as the incognito Peter, sopranos Elizabeth Futral and Darina Takova, baritone Christopher Maltman, and, a 23 old Juan Diego Flórez. The Wexford Festival Opera Chorus and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland are led by Vladimir Jurowski, who was 24 at the time of the recording.

Le Voyage dans la Lune

The Palazzetto Bru Zane releases a French gem in Offenbach’s opéra féerie of 1876. Bru Zane’s recording was made in Montpellier in September 2021, in the midst of an extensive French tour that just ended in April. Pierre Dumoussaud leads the Choeur et Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie and an expertly stylish cast.


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