Natalie Dessay, Roderick Williams & Sofia Fomina Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get a chance to hear a complete catalog of one of the great opera singers of our time. They will also get a chance to experience rarely performed works and the culmination of one of the most revered recitalist’s experiments. Here is a look.

The Freischütz Project

Erato releases highlights from Weber’s exhilarating, ground-breaking work in both audio and video format, recorded live in Paris. The period instruments of the Insula Orchestra are joined by the Accentus Choir and a cast led by tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac and soprano Johanni van Oostrum. The staging is by Clément Debailleul and Raphaël Navarro of Compagnie 14:20.

The Opera Singer

Erato releases a compilation of Natalie Dessay’s greatest recordings. The set showcases the superstar in Mozart’s furious Queen of the Night, Offenbach’s robotic Olympia, Strauss’s flirtatious Zerbinetta, Delibes’ devoted Lakmé, Handel’s mercurial Cleopatra, Donizetti’s desperate Lucia, Thomas’s fragile Ophélie, Massenet’s capricious Manon, and Verdi’s tragic Violetta. Audiences can relive the soprano’s unforgettable interpretations in 33 CDs and 19 DVDs.


Dynamic releases the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s production of Franco Alfano’s “Risurrezione.” The production by Rosetta Cucchi stars Anne-Sophie Duprels and Matthew Vickers. Francesco Lanzillotta conducts the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Medtner Songs

Soprano Sofia Fomina offers a fine selection of Medtner songs in her new recital for Chandos. Known as Rachmaninoff’s junior by just under seven years, Medtner showed a similar early prowess as both pianist and composer for his chosen instrument. For Fomina’s album, the soprano has chosen four groups of songs from the years 1918 to 1924. The soprano is joined by pianist Alexander Karpeyev for the new album.

Drot og Marsk

Peter Heise’s rarely performed opera from 1878 gets a release. The Danish composer made his name as his generation’s most successful composer of romances in Denmark, but he had yet to establish a reputation as a composer of opera. Dacapo releases the rarely performed opera which was recorded live at Copenhagen’s new opera house on Holmen. Michael Schønwandt conducts the opera which features tenor Peter Lohdal as King Erik and baritone Johan Reuter as Marshal Stig.


Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside complete their survey of Schubert’s song cycles with a recording of “Winterreise.” Chandos releases the new recording which represents the culmination of a project that started back in 2015 when Williams accepted the challenge to prepare and perform all three song cycles in one season at the Wigmore Hall in London.


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