James Newby & Opera Lafayette Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

During the first week of the year audiences can check out a debut album or a rarely performed version of a well-known work. As always here this week’s streaming releases.

I Wonder as I Wander 

Baritone James Newby releases his debut album on BIS records. The new album features the works of Beethoven, Britten, Mahler, and Schubert. Joseph Middleton accompanies on piano.

As part of the album’s release Newby will return to his alma mater on Jan. 29 to give an intimate solo recital with Joseph Middleton, live-streamed on the Barbican website from Guildhall School’s Milton Court Concert Hall. The duo will perform a program of evocative songs from his debut album.


To celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday year and its own 25th anniversary, the Washington DC–based Opera Lafayette is releasing a rare staging of “Leonore,” the original version of the opera “Fidelio.” Naxos is releasing the version which was at New York City’s Kaye Playhouse in early March just two weeks before COVID-19 forced the closing of the city’s theaters.

Lafayette’s production features Will Crutchfield’s reconstruction of Florestan’s opening aria and was conducted by Ryan Brown. The production starred Nathalie Paulin, Jean-Michel Richer, Pascale Beaudin, Keven Geddes, Stephen Hegedus, and Matthew Scollin.