Maria Callas, Nicky Spence, Jonathan Tetelman, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau & Regula Mühlemann Lead New CD/DVD ReleasesBy Francisco Salazar
Welcome back for this week’s edition of the CD and DVD releases on offer in the opera world. This week is particularly crowded with releases of Maria Callas by Warner Classics to celebrate her centennial. There are also a number of debut albums as well as the second album to one of the biggest rising tenors of his generation. Audiences can also hear rarely performed operas.
With the world celebrating Maria Callas’ centennial on Dec. 2, 2023, Warner Classics will release a comprehensive collection of her recordings.
The new set compromises 131 CDs, 3 Blu-ray discs, and 1 DVD and will become the most comprehensive box of Callas recordings ever released, presenting La Divina in all 74 roles for which audio documents exist. It also includes her complete studio recordings, an extensive collection of her best live recordings, the masterclasses she gave at the Juilliard School, videos, and a bonus CD of world premiere releases: alternate takes and working sessions from studio recordings of the 1960s.
Purcell – Dido & Aeneas
Pentatone releases Purcell’s masterpiece featuring Fleur Barron, Matthew Brook, Giulia Semenzato, Tim Mead, Nicky Spence, David Bates and La Nuova Musica.
In a statement, La Nuova Musica said, “La Nuova Musica’s first visit to the BBC Proms was a massive success, and the opportunity to go into the studio shortly afterwards to record Dido, unmissable. We are delighted to be able to offer a fresh take on one of the most important and iconic of all British operas to a world-wide audience. We are hugely grateful to all those trusts and individuals who supported us in making this recording.”
La Princesse de Trébizonde
Opera Rara releases Jacques Offenbach’s comic operetta “La Princesse de Trébizonde” with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by French opera specialist Paul Daniel. Virginie Verrez, Anne-Catherine Gillet, Antoinette Dennefeld, and Josh Lovell star in the recording.
Composer and librettist John Aylward releases the soundtrack for his one-act chamber opera “Oblivion” on New Focus Recordings, with a feature-length film through Graham Swon’s Ravenserodd Productions.
The recording stars baritone Tyler Boque and soprano Nina Guo in the roles of the two Wanderers, baritone Cailin Marcel Manson as the inscrutable Hunter, and tenor Lukas Papenfusscline as an enigmatic figure they are warned against approaching.
In a statement by the composer, Aylward said, “As an adult, able to see my parents simply as people trying to make sense of life, I have realized how much they struggled to find distance from their Catholic upbringings. These reflections led me to want to explore the difficulties they must have endured in finding themselves. Ultimately, the opera asks if we can escape ourselves through forgetting and whether redemption, that highest of Catholic concepts, is worth seeking after all.”
Songs of the Night
Champs Hill Records releases Rowan Pierce, Julien Van Mellaerts, and Lucy Colquhoun’s newest album. The record presents a collection of works exploring the night in all its guises, from roaring storms and peaceful sunsets to magical forests and nocturnal travelers.
Poulenc La Voix Humaine
Aparté will release a Poulenc album conducted by my client Frédéric Chaslin, who has also orchestrated select Poulenc songs (a world premiere recording), with soprano Julie Cherrier-Hoffmann, who is also singing “La Voix Humaine”. The orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice accompanies on the album.
Rising operatic tenor Limmie Pulliam releases his debut album “WITNESS” which features a collection of Negro Spirituals.
The Great Puccini
Jonathan Tetelman releases his second album for Deutsche Grammophon paying tribute to Giacomo Puccini and his immortal melodies. The new album presents extracts from nine operas, including such well-known arias as “Nessun dorma,” “Che gelida manina,” and “E lucevan le stelle,” as well as numbers from less familiar operas such as “Le villi” and “La rondine.” Tetelman is joined by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, conductor Carlo Rizzi, and sopranos Vida Miknevičiūtė (Giorgetta in “Il tabarro”) and Federica Lombardi (Mimì in “La bohème”).
Berlioz: Les Nuits d’Été / Ravel: Shéhérazade / Saint-Saëns: Mélodies Persanes
Erato releases Marie-Nicole Lemieux new album which she accompanied by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Kazuki Yamada. The album sees the contralto interpret Berlioz’s “Les Nuits d’été” and Ravel’s “Shéhérazade” as well as Saint-Saëns’ “Mélodies Persanes (Persian Songs).”
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana
Regula Mühlemann, Michael Schade, and Markus Werba lead Orff’s masterpiece in this new DVD by C Major with the Coro del Teatro La Fenice, Piccoli Cantori Veneziani, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice, and Fabio Luisi. The recording was made at the Piazza San Marco, Venice in 2022.
Jules Massenet: Ariane
Amina Edris, Kate Aldrich, Jean-François Borras, Jean-Sébastien Bou, and Julie Robard-Gendre lead Massenet’s rarely performed work with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Choir, and Laurent Campellone.
Philippe Boesmans: On Purge Bébé
Jean-Sébastien Bou, Jodie Devos, and Denzil Delaere perform teh one act opera with La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bassem Akiki.
Luzzasco Luzzaschi: Il concerto segreto
La Néréide formed by Camille Allérat, Julie Roset, and Ana Viera Leite devote their first recording to music by Luzzaschi.
Dis-Mois Vénus…L’Amour sous Louis XV
Marie Perbost and Gaétan Jarry join forces with the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera for an album that invokes the goddess Venus and the heroines of French opera from the century of Louis XV to embody all the victims of passions unleashed by Aphrodite. The album features works by Rameau, Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville, Jean-Baptiste Niel, François Rebel & François Francoeur, Egidio Romualdo Duni, and Jean-Joseph Mouret,
The Emerson String Quartet, Barbara Hannigan, and Bertrand Chamyou join forces for a release that includes works by Schoenberg, Berg, Hindemith, and Chausson. Alpha releases the album which mark the final album of the Emerson String Quartet who will disband in October 2023 after 47 years.
Ekaterina Siurina: Where is my Beloved?
Constantine Orbelian conducts Ekaterina Siurina in her new album alongside the Kaunas City Symphony. For this album, Siurina performs beloved operatic chestnuts including, “Un bel di, vedremo” from “Madama Butterfly,” “In quelle trine morbide” from “Manon Lescaut” and “Tatiana’s Letter Scene” from “Eugene Onegin.”The album also features arias by Cilea, Dvořák, Boito, and Verdi.
Antonio Sacchini (1730-1786): L’abbandono delle ricchezze di S. Filippo Neri
Yeree Suh, Ketevan Chuntishvili, Markus Schäfer, Daniel Ochoa, and Giovanni Michelin lead a rarely performed work conducted by Franz Hauk. The oratorio “L’abbandono delle ricchezze di S. Filippo Neri” narrates the spiritual trials of St. Philip Neri as he is hounded by the personifications of Splendor and Deception on his journey, assisted and defended by Poverty, towards God and virtue. First performed in 1765, L’abbandono is heard here in its world premiere recording.
Hans Werner Henze: Das Floß Der Medusa
Sarah Wegener, Dietrich Henschel, and Sven-Eric Bechtolf in this new recording by Capriccio. The Arnold Schoenberg Chor, Vienna Boys’ Choir, and ORF Vienna Radio symphony Orchestra are led by Cornelius Meister.
The Bayerische Staatsoper releases a recording of Mendelssohn’s oratorio under its label. The classic recording features Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Margaret Price, Marianne Seibel, Brigitte Fassbaender, Cornelia Wulkopf, Peter Schreier, Heiner Hopfner, Kurt Moll, and Waldemar Wild. Wolfgang Sawallisch releases the historic performance from the 1984 Munich Opera Festival.