Blu-ray

Bellini: Norma

Bellini: Norma

Hasmik Papian (Norma); Hugh Smith (Pollione); Irini Tsirakidis (Adalgisa); Giorgio Giuseppini (Oroveso); Anna Steiger (Clotilde); Carlo Bosi (Flavio);

"Norma. Diva. Callas. Three keywords that are the core of Joosten’s staging. A diva in a Callas costume who, as Norma, loses her way in the labyrinths of the opera world and who can no longer distinguish between the drama on stage and reality. Joosten’s stage interpretation offers interesting contemplations on opera business and on the role and character of a star soprano in a typical Callas situation...The story starts as an opera in an opera, but gradually the boundaries between theatre and reality become more and more ambivalent… great class!" (Trouw)

BENJAMIN: WRITTEN ON SKIN (Royal Opera House)

BENJAMIN: WRITTEN ON SKIN (Royal Opera House)

Christopher Purves (Protector); Barbara Hannigan (Agnès); Bejun Mehta (First Angel/Boy); Victoria Simmonds (Second Angel/Marie); Allan Clayton (Third Angel/John); Martin Crimp (Text); George Benjamin (Conductor); Katie Mitchell (Director);

"Le Monde" (Magic and irresistible ... It is the best opera written over the last twenty years.)

Berg: Lulu

Berg: Lulu

Agneta Eichenholz (Lulu); Michael Volle (Dr Schön / Jack the Ripper); Klaus Florian Vogt (Alwa); Jennifer Larmore (Countess Geschwitz);

"It is immaculately rehearsed and executed - one doesn't often see opera acted with such freedom and honesty and absence of flummery. And its unsparing analytic clarity forces one to confront the bitter truth about Lulu's inner life and the corruption and idiocy of the men who are infatuated by her...Antonio Pappano's electrifying conducting is razor-sharp in the manner of Pierre Boulez, and the orchestral playing is magnificent...Singing with an extraordinary grace and insouciance, Eichenholz manages to make this monster chillingly real and hauntingly beautiful." (The Daily Telegraph)

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Berlioz: Les Troyens

Susan Graham (Didon); Anna Caterina Antonacci (Cassandra / Clio); Gregory Kunde (née); Ludovic Tézier (Chorèbe); Laurent Naouri (Narbal / Le Grand Prêtre);

"In October 2003 John Eliot Gardiner with his Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique had a great success when they visited Paris to give Berlioz's epic opera in the relatively intimate Theatré du Châtelet but, as the video shows, the stage production by Yannis Kokkos neatly achieves clarity and directness in the complex plot with an economical but effective staging....The performance gains from the fine singing in the central role of Cassandra of Anna Caterina Antonacci, then coming to the fore as a star of the future. Ludovic Tezier is also excellent as her lover Chorebus, and the final chorus of Trojan women, led by Cassandra, brings a thrilling climax." (The Penguin Guide)

Berlioz: LES TROYENS (Royal Opera House)

Berlioz: LES TROYENS (Royal Opera House)

"The Wall Street Journal" (David McVicar's stupendous production … would be worth seeing for Es Devlin's mighty sets and Constructivist Trojan horse alone.)

Birtwistle: The Minotaur

Birtwistle: The Minotaur

John Tomlinson (The Minotaur); Johan Reuter (Theseus); Christine Rice (Ariadne); Andrew Watts (Snake Priestess); Philip Langridge (Hiereus);

"The impact of the opera is greatly heightened not just by the casting but by the staging by Stephen Langridge at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, very well filled on this DVD, with simple yet vividly atmospheric designs by Alison Chitty. The role of The Minotaur as a sort of Jekyll and Hyde figure was expressly designed for John Tomlinson, the famed Wotan from Bayreuth and centrally cast too in Birtwistle's earlier Gawain. His voice may no longer be as steady as it was, but his singing could not be more moving." (The Penguin Guide)