Lisette Oropesa, Metropolitan Opera & Joyce DiDonato Headline New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get a chance to hear many baroque pieces, a solo album from a superstar, a debut album, and the long-awaited release of one of the great contemporary operas of our time.

Here is a look at this week’s new releases.

Ombra Compagna

Soprano Lisette Oropesa presents her solo debut album featuring concert arias by Mozart. The arias were written for important sopranos in the composer’s life and contain the most lavish and virtuosic music Mozart composed. Oropesa is joined by Il pomo d’oro under the baton of Antonello Manacorda.

In a statement, Oropesa said, “Mozart has always been my favorite composer. I think I started to feel this strong connection to his music when I studied his concertos as a young flautist. I had to learn the language of the virtuosic writing he is so famous for, and be able to color and create musical phrases without the use of text. Many of Mozart’s concert arias are written in a similar way as his instrumental music, requiring a huge skill set of virtues and demanding extremes of range, breath control, dynamics, and stamina. As a former instrumentalist, I approach this special repertoire the same way with my voice as I did with my flute. The difference now is, as a grown woman, I feel that I have a deeper connection to his musical language. Because the human voice is an organic instrument, it responds (sometimes involuntarily!) to even the subtlest of emotional triggers. And there is text, often a very emotionally driven one, sometimes descriptive of the most heart-breaking of situations, that points to the direction of the ideal execution of this music. Even though Mozart’s music is, with my humble abilities, impossible to truly master, I still enjoy every moment I spend letting it live in me and bringing it to the world in all its complexity.”

This is not a lullaby 

Dutch soprano Channa Malkin releases her new album with record label TRPTK. The soprano is joined by cellist Maya Fridman and pianist Artem Belogurov. The album features song cycles that present her personal perspective on motherhood with music by 20th and 21st century composers. Among the composers in the album are Mieczysław Weinberg, Sir John Tavener, and her father Josef Malkin.

In a press release, Malkin said, “Becoming a mother has changed me in more ways than I can put into words. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been a blessing to work on this highly personal project inspired by my son Ezra.”

The album was recorded in December 2020 in the main hall of the Philharmonie Haarlem.


Bright Shiny Things releases the solo debut album of mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert. The album features eight world premiere recordings which reflect on the broader social implications of “home,” including dislocation, immigration, love, and mourning, all written expressly written for Gaissert by Ricky Ian Gordon, John Glover, Martin Hennessy, David T. Little, Laura Kaminsky, Mikael Karlsson, Rene Orth, and Kamala Sankaram. The collaborative musicians on the album include musicians from the Attacca Quartet, Aizuri Quartet, Sybarite5, & Imani Winds.


The Metropolitan Opera releases its monumental production of  Philip Glass’ opera on CD and DVD. The 2011 production is being released by Glass’s Orange Mountain Music and stars Richard Croft, Rachelle Durkin, Kim Josephson, Alfred Walker, Bradley Garvin, Richard Bernstein, Molly Fillmore, Maria Zifchak, and Mary Phillips. Dante Anzolini conducts the production. The Metropolitan Opera has also announced that “Ahknaten” will also be released in the coming months in a similar rollout.

Vinci: Artaserse

Max Emanuel Cencic and Philippe Jaroussky star in Vinci’s work alongside conductor Diego Fasolis and Concerto Köln. The recording also features countertenors Franco Fagioli, Valer Barna-Sabadus, and Yuriy Mynenko. Tenor Daniel Behle also appears on the new released which can be heard only on digital platforms with the physical recording to be released on May 21, 2021.


Warner Classics releases Handel’s renown opera starring Joyce DiDonato. The superstar is joined by a cast that includes Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Matthew Brook, Karina Gauvin, Topi Lehtipuu, Sabina Puértolas, Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani, and Coro del Complesso Barocco. Alan Curtis conducts the new recording.

The new recording is available on digital platforms and the physical copy will be released on May 21, 2021.



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