Magazine article Gramophone

'Opera Gala'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Opera Gala'

Article excerpt

'Opera Gala' (g, h)

'Live from Baden-Baden' Arias and ensembles from Bizet Carmen Boito Mefistofele Bock Fiddler on the Roof Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur Gounod Faust Lehar Das Land des Lachelns Mascagni L'amico Fritz. Cavalleria rusticana Puccini Tosca Rota The Godfather Verdi Don Carlo. Otello. Un bailo in maschera Wagner Tannhauser

Anja Harteros sop Ekaterina Gubanova mez Jonas Kaufmann ten Bryn Terfel bass-bar Badische Staatskapelle/Marco Armiliato

Sony Classical (F), [DVD] 88985 37161-9; (F) [BR] 88985 37162-9 (139' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080i * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo. 0 * s) Recorded live 2016

Opera galas are strange beasts, but this one from Baden Baden in 2016 (the booklet doesn't give us the exact date) has much to recommend it. The main attractions are some meaty extracts that offer glimpses of singers in roles otherwise unavailable: 10 minutes each of Anja Harteros's Tosca (a juicy confrontation with Bryn Terfel's Scarpia leading to a supremely classy and moving 'Vissi d'arte'), for example, plus a further taster of Jonas Kaufmann's Otello, in 'Gia nella notte densa', to complement his recordings of the arias on his 'Verdi Album' (Sony, A/13).

In fact, it's the duets that fare best over all, and the Otello extract is probably worth the price of admission--somewhat steep on the night, one imagines--alone: it is sung with rare sensitivity and a chaste tenderness that create a powerful erotic charge. …

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