Sonya Yoncheva, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Rosśa Crean & Patrizia Ciofi Lead New CD/DVD Releases

By Francisco Salazar

This week audiences will get a chance to hear new works, one of the great stars of our generation and rarely performed repertoire. Here is a look at the new albums of the week:

The Priestess of Morphine

Navona releases composer Rosśa Crean and librettist Aiden K. Feltkamp’s haunting portrait of Gertrud Günther, a young Jewish lesbian caught between her two selves during the Third Reich. The monodrama’s unusual story is matched by a unique ensemble and features Katherine Bruton and Jessie Lyon representing each side of Gertrud’s life.


The MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and its chief conductor Philipp Ahmann present motets by Anton Bruckner and Michael Haydn. The album offers Bruckner’s “Locus iste,” “Christus factus est” and “Ave Maria” and the lesser-known works of Michael Haydn. The album combines the two works in order to discover the Austrian church-musical style.


Sonya Yoncheva releases her fourth solo album for Sony Classical featuring music by Cavalli, Monteverdi, Stradella, Gibbons, Alarcon, Strozzi, and many more.

In a statement, the soprano noted, “This project is of great importance to me. I would like to highlight the timeless quality of this music, the sense of unlimited freedom that it offers us. It is an appeal for a rebirth, for the renewal our world so desperately needs.”

Rebirth was recorded in the concert hall of La Chaux-de-Fonds, with Alarcón and his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea, during the first European lockdown.


Scott Wheeler’s opera is set to be released on New Worlds Records. The work is a fairy tale two-act opera set to a libretto by Singapore-born Cerise Lim Jacobs and creatively produced by Beth Morrison Projects. The new recording is led by conductor Carolyn Kuan and soprano Stacey Tappan and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

“Naga” is the first part of The Ouroboros Trilogy, a cycle of three grand operas with different composers including the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Madame White Snake” by Zhou Long and “Gilgamesh” by Paolo Prestini. All with librettos were written by Jacobs.

Orson Rehearsed

Daron Hagen’s opera film “Orson Rehearsed” is set to be released by Naxos. Fusing live players with pre-recorded sounds and effects, the film version of Orson Rehearsed has been a multiple award winner at festivals in the US, Europe, and beyond. The album features Omar Mulero, Robert Frankenberry, Robert Orth, Fifth House Ensemble, and Roger Zahab. 

English Solo Song 

King’s College, Cambridge releases its first album for the New Year. The album is a journey through the distinctive musical genre of ‘English Song’, performed by some of the finest former members of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Recorded in All Saints’ Church, East Finchley, the songs included on the album span settings of Shakespeare songs, as well as songs by Vaughan Williams, Britten, Finzi, Howells, Rebecca Clarke, Iain Bell, and Celia Harper. Performers include Michael Chance, Tim Mead, Lawrence Zazzo, Ruairi Bowen, James Gilchrist, Andrew Staples, Gerald Finley, Ashley Riches, and Mark Stone. Simon Lepper accompanies.

Canti Italiani

Anna Bonitatibus and Adele D’Aronzo release a new album including “Italian” compositions for Solo Voice and Pianoforte by Ludwig van Beethoven. The album proposes a selection of Arias taken from the Beethovenian vocal repertoire and based on a new reading of the original sources signed by Consonarte. The album inaugurates a series of new recordings, within the project of revaluation of Lirica italiana.

Heart Chamber

Chaya Czernowin’s “Heart Chamber” gets a release from Naxos. DVD comes from the Deutsche Oper Berlin and showcases a production by Claus Guth. The cast includes Patrizia Ciofi, Dietrich Henschel, Noa Frenkel, and Terry Way. Johannes Kalitzke conducts the Ensemble Nikel and the Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, with live electronics supplied by the SWR Experimentalstudio.

Santa Ratniece – Vigilia del Mattino

Skani releases Santa Ratniece’s exciting working Vigilia del Mattino,War Sum Up: Music. Manga. Machines (I-VII), fuoco celeste and nada el layli. The works, which were commissioned and recorded by the Latvian Radio Choir are conducted by Sigvards Kļava and Kaspars Putniņš. Ratniece is an esteemed Latvian composer of highly distinctive choral, orchestra and chamber music.


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