Blu-ray

Verdi: I Due Foscari (The Royal Opera)

Verdi: I Due Foscari (The Royal Opera)

Plácido Domingo (Francesco Foscari); Francesco Meli (Jacopo Foscari ); Maria Agresta (Lucrezia Contarini ); Maurizio Muraro (Jacopo Loredano); Samuel Sakker (Barbarigo); Rachel Kelly (Pisana);

"Domingo ... is, unquestionably, rather fine in it. There’s strong conducting from Antonio Pappano, and the dark-hued score, all sombre brass and low strings, is excitingly played." (The Guardian)

Verdi: Il Trovatore (The Royal Opera)

Verdi: Il Trovatore (The Royal Opera)

Alexander Tsymbalyuk (Ferrando); Lianna Haroutounian (Leonora); Francesca Chiejina (Ines); Gregory Kunde (Manrico); Vitaliy Bilyy (Count Di Luna); Anita Rachvelishvili (Azucena); Jonathan Fisher (Old Gypsy); Samuel Sakker (Ruiz); Andrew O’Connor (Messenger);

"Verdi's melodrama is given a grand start by Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Ferrando, majestic in his retelling of the opera's convoluted back story about burning the wrong baby. I could have listened to the Ukrainian bass all evening... An earlier Covent Garden discovery, Lianna Haroutounian, who deputised so brilliantly for Anja Harteros in Don Carlo a few years back, is a devastatingly powerful Leonora. On grand tragic form throughout, her substantial voice retained its radiance throughout and was still fresh enough for a knockout account of the heroine's final-act set piece, the spectacular "Tu vedrai che amore in terra", in which the security of her vocal command was a wonder... Conductor Richard Farnes drew some fabulous singing from the Royal Opera Chorus: the women in particular were a credit to their new director William Spaulding in the hushed luminosity of their offstage requiem in the final act. And the dynamic maestro energised the ROH Orchestra throughout the performance with a succession of interpretational subtleties whose inventiveness kept Verdi's old war horse on the gallop. It is well worth a listen" (WhatsOn Stage ★★★★)

Verdi: Il trovatore (The Royal Opera)

Verdi: Il trovatore (The Royal Opera)

José Cura (Manrico); Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Count di Luna); Yvonne Naef (Azucena); Verónica Vilarroel (Leonora);

"Elijah Moshinsky’'s production is surely as lively and moving as Verdi’s intricate masterpiece deserves. Jose Cura sizzles. Dimitri Hvorostovsky is everything one could want to see and hear in a Verdi baritone. This new “Trovatore” DVD is a reminder that not every golden age happened long ago." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Verdi: La Traviata (Glyndebourne)

Verdi: La Traviata (Glyndebourne)

Venera Gimadieva (Violetta Valéry); Michael Fabiano (Alfredo Germont); Tassis Christoyannis (Giorgio Germont); Emanuele D’Aguanno (Gastone, Viscount de Letorières); Magdalena Molendowska (Annina); Hanna Hipp (Flora Bervoix); Eddie Wade (Baron Douphol); Oliver Dunn (Marchese D'Obigny); Graeme Broadbent (Doctor Grenvil);

" a Traviata that glances to the past while stepping resolutely into opera’s emotional and dramatic future." (The Independent ★★★★)

Verdi: La traviata (The Royal Opera)

Verdi: La traviata (The Royal Opera)

Renée Fleming (Violetta); Joseph Calleja (Alfredo); Thomas Hampson (Germont);

"Antonio Pappano takes charge of this revival, searching out the meaning of Verdi's score in a supple, sentient reading that sweeps you along." (The Guardian)

Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes (De Nederlandse Opera)

Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes (De Nederlandse Opera)

Barbara Haveman (Hélène); Burkhard Fritz (Henri); Alejandro Marco-Buhrmester (Guy de Montfort); Balint Szabo (Jean Procida);

"Alejandro Marco-Buhrmeister succeeds in evoking our sympathy in 'Au sein de la puissance'. The lovers sing tenderly; but what stands out in their Act 2 duet is some exquisite phrasing in the strings...There are a few cuts, including the cabaletta of Procida's 'Et toi, Palerme', but it's a worthwhile addition to the modest number of French grand operas on DVD." (Gramophone)