Jonas Kaufmann, Marlis Petersen & Lise Davidsen Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get a chance to experience new releases from two of the biggest stars in opera, Jonas Kaufmann and Lise Davidsen. There will also be releases from up-and-coming star Stephen Lancaster and the choral group The Crossing. Here is a look at what you can look forward to.


The Dresdner Philharmonie and its Principal conductor Marek Janowski present a new recording of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” with a cast that includes Lise Davidsen (Fidelio/Leonore), Christian Elsner (Florestan), Georg Zeppenfeld (Rocco), Christina Landshamer (Marzelline), Cornel Frey (Jaquino), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Don Pizzarro), and Günther Groissböck (Don Fernando).

The work was recorded in two sessions with two different, established choirs, the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden andthe MDR Leipzig Radio Choir. Katharina Wagner and Daniel Weber have adapted the original dialogues for this recording. The album is a San Francisco Classical Recording Company Production.

Looking At You 

Bright Shiny Things releases the world premiere recording of “Looking At You,”  an immersive techno-noir chamber opera by composer Kamala Sankaram and librettist Rob Handel. Developed with and directed by HERE Arts Center’s Founding Artistic Director Kristin Marting, the 86-minute chamber opera is scored for saxophone trio, piano, electronics, and six singers. The new recording stars Paul An, Adrienne Danrich, Blythe Gaissert, Eric McKeever, Brandon Snook, and Mikki Sodergren.

In Praise of Music

Antioch Chamber Ensemble with conductor Joshua Copeland release Robert Kyr’s “In Praise of Music” on Bridge Records. The choral ensemble’s album touches on themes of conflict, celebration, peacemaking, and music through the album’s ten works, with texts by Kyr and a variety of other sources.


Blue Griffin Recording presents American baritone Stephen Lancaster and French fortepianist Laure Colladant’s intimate recording of Schumann’s beloved song cycles, “Dichterliebe” and “Liederkreis,” Op. 39. The album was recorded in the salon of the 17th-century Château du Tertre in Sérigny, France. The new recording features a rare, early 19th century Filippo Molitor fortepiano. Audiences can hear the album on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and Blue Griffin Recording.

Words Adorned

The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, releases its 25th commercial album on Navona Records. The new album features the choral group with the Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture’s Takht Ensemble led by Hanna Khoury and Palestinian vocal soloist Dalal Abu Amneh in commissioned works by Kareem Roustom and Kinan Abou-afach.

In a press release, Donald Nally said, “This is one of those great collaborations in which everyone is equally vital, no one is fully in charge and no one is in the background; everyone is driving the energy of the project and the music forward with physical, intellectual, and emotional energy. The result is something The Crossing really loves; amazing music, written for us by two uniquely gifted composers, and shaped by Hanna Khoury and the Takht players. And, of course, Dalal is a miracle. We are so fortunate that Al-Bustan asked us to join them for WORDS ADORNED and to have the album, years later, finally reach a larger audience!”

Die Tote Stadt

Korngold’s most famous opera is being released by BSO Recordings starring tenor Jonas Kaufmann and the soprano Marlis Petersen. The production from the Bayerische Staatsoper was directed by Simon Stone and is conducted by Kirill Petrenko. The cast also includes Andrzej Filonczyk. When OperaWire saw the production, critic Polina Lyapustina said, “star Soprano Marlis Petersen Shines As The Girl of Jonas Kaufmann’s Dreams.”


In May 2018, Lise Davidsen was on her home turf in Norway, recording Sibelius with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and its chief conductor, Edward Gardner. The new recording comes from Chandos and showcases the star soprano in the composer’s tone poem Luonnotar (1913), with its text from the epic Kalevela. The album also includes Mélisande’s song from the suite Sibelius arranged. Audiences will also get to hear Rakastava for string orchestra, triangle, and timpani, the brief tone poem Vårsång, and the symphonic poem Tapiola.


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