Blu-ray

Szymanowski: Król Roger (The Royal Opera)

Szymanowski: Król Roger (The Royal Opera)

Mariusz Kwiecień (Roger II); Saimir Pirgu (Shepherd); Georgia Jarman (Roxana); Kim Begley (Edrisi); Alan Ewing (Archbishop); Agnes Zwierko (Deaconess);

"... directed with flair, clarity and intelligence by Kasper Holten. Steffen Aarfing’s setting of a tiered arena dominated by a massive sculpted head is enormously impressive..." (The Daily Telegraph ★★★★★)

Tan Dun: Marco Polo (De Nederlandse Opera)

Tan Dun: Marco Polo (De Nederlandse Opera)

Charles Workman (Polo); Sarah Castle (Marco); Stephen Richardson (Kublai Khan); Nancy Allen Lundy (Water); Zhang Jun (Shadow 1 / Rustichello / Li Po); Tania Kross (Shadow 2 / Sheherazada / Mahler / Queen);

"Tan Dun’s Marco Polo was, for me, a multi-dimensional experience which went beyond my expectations and indeed overwhelmed my senses...Here was an opera of our generation: a fusion of elements across time and space, a true testimony to the way our worlds have become intertwined in the globalisation process." (Bonjournal.com)

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (De Nederlandse Opera)

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (De Nederlandse Opera)

Bo Skovhus (Eugene Onegin); Krassimira Stoyanova (Tatjana); Andrej Dunaev (Vladimir Ljenski); Mikhail Petrenko (Vorst Gremin);

"Put too much steam into Tchaikovsky’s score and it wilts. Be too shy and retiring, on the other hand, and the tragic momentum evaporates. Jansons sets us on a simmer and gradually turns the heat to boiling. It is magisterially paced, stunningly played and, seemingly effortlessly, Jansons captures every aching nuance. […] Herheim’sinnovations are often throbbingly acute (and sometimes wickedly funny)." (The Times)

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (The Royal Opera)

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin (The Royal Opera)

Simon Keenlyside (Eugene Onegin); Krassimira Stoyanova (Tatyana); Elena Maximova (Olga); Pavol Breslik (Lensky); Diana Montague (Madame Larina); Peter Rose (Prince Gremin);

"Simon Keenlyside in the title role brings virility to the unpleasant, usually buttoned-up hero. You can see why the teenaged Tatyana might fall for him, even if he is on the mature side. This Onegin delights in being louche, playful, arms folded, casual rather than stiff. He sings with flexibility, expression and, most of the time, a golden tone, suggesting more capacity for emotion than is usually evident: even brutes have their decent qualities." (The Observer)

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) (Gran Teatre del Liceu)

Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) (Gran Teatre del Liceu)

Misha Didyk (Hermann); Emily Magee (Liza); Lado Ataneli (Count Tomsky); Ludovic Tézier (Prince Yeletsky); Ewa Podles (Countess);

"It gives us a thoroughly traditional production from the Liceu but it works because it tells the story so compellingly and because the singing and playing is excellent from everyone...Watching this DVD reawakened me to the dramatic and musical treasures of what must surely be Tchaikovsky’s greatest opera (with apologies to Onegin fans). This is an ideal way to introduce the opera to someone for the first time, and a great way for established Tchaikovskians to remind themselves just how great it is." (Musicweb International)

The Royal Opera Collection

The Royal Opera Collection

Renée Fleming (Violetta Valéry (La Traviata)); Jonas Kaufmann (Don José (Carmen)); Diana Damrau (Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte)); Simon Keenlyside (Papageno (Die Zauberflöte); Macbeth (Macbeth)); Anna Caterina Antonacci (Carmen (Carmen)); Joseph Calleja (Alfredo Germont (La Traviata)); Dorothea Röschmann (Pamina (Die Zauberflöte)); Mariusz Kwiecien (Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni); Król Roger (Król Roger)); Angela Denoke (Kundry (Parsifal)); René Pape (Gurnemanz (Parsifal)); Eva-Maria Westbroek (Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana); Giorgetta (Il tabarro)); Aleksandrs Antonenko (Turiddu/Canio (Cavalleria Rusticana; I Pagliacci); Luigi (Il tabarro));

"This production’s slow journey from darkness into the light…works well on the small screen, not least thanks to high-definition camera work and Sue Judd’s inspired direction for television. The real magic, though, is supplied by the onstage cast...In Dorothea Röschmann’s hands, Pamina emerges not so much a powerless victim of Fate but more as a passionate woman prepared to suffer in the nameof love. Her natural command of the stage is sagely employed by McVicar...Diana Damrau’s supremely sung Queen of the Night oozes class, while Simon Keenlyside’s profoundly human, touchingly sympathetic view of Papageno deserves an Olivier Award." (Die Zauberflöte - Classic FM)