Release Date:

Jul 2019


All Regions

Audio Format:

LPCM 2.0 / DTS-HD Master Audio







Catalog Number:


Barber: Vanessa (Glyndebourne)

Emma Bell (Vanessa); Virginie Verrez (Erika); Edgaras Montvidas (Anatol); Rosalind Plowright (The Old Baroness); Donnie Ray Albert (The Old Doctor); Romanas Kudriašovas (Footman); William Thomas (Nicholas, the Major-Domo);

Available for the first time on DVD & Blu Ray, Barber's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera for the age of Hitchcock, features an atmospheric score and tense, psychological twists.

Abandoned by her lover Anatol, Vanessa retreats from the world, waiting and hoping with only her mother and her niece Erika for company. But when, 20 years later, Anatol's handsome young sone arrives unexpectedly, he shatters the calm of this shuttered household of women. Past and present love collides, and the aftershocks threaten to destroy them all.

Samuel Barber's Pulitzer Prize-winning first opera boasts one of the 20th century's most beautiful scores. Poised constantly on the edge of song, Vanessa unfolds in generous swathes of melody, rich in filmic strings and soaring brass, with echoes of Puccini, Berg and Strauss. It climaxes in the final quintet of Mozartean poignancy - one of the greatest ensembles of the contemporary repertoire.


" ... this is intelligent music theatre that proves consistently gripping. Musically, it’s hugely impressive, too. Bell gives one of her finest performances to date, beautifully acted, her voice soaring with elation and anguish, even as Vanessa becomes increasingly deluded as to Anatol’s true nature. Montvidas is all seductive elegance, but his charm can turn to cynicism in a flash when his guard is down, and we fully understand why Verrez’s proud, sensual Erika finds him both so attractive and so suspicious. Plowright strikingly suggests a woman whose view of the present is haunted by the sadness of her own memories, while Albert convinces as a man who can mend men’s bodies, but singularly fails to understand their souls. Jakub Hrůša, conducting with tremendous passion, really opens the emotional floodgates, sweeping us away in the big set pieces, while the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s playing is at once sumptuous and superbly detailed." (The Guardian ★★★★)

"Magnificent. A beautiful, thought-provoking production of an opera that toys cat-like with your intellect even as it tears at your heart ... ... these are wonderful performances and this is a beautiful, thought-provoking production of an opera that toys, cat-like, with your intellect even as it tears at your heart. It’s a sophisticated, thoroughly grown-up treat ..." (The Spectator)

"Barber’s score is technically impeccable ... while his orchestration is a thing of consistent beauty and imagination, its virtues marvellously displayed at Glyndebourne by the London Philharmonic under conductor Jakub Hrusa." (The Independent ★★★★)

"This Glyndebourne the first DVD of the opera, but its combination of singing, orchestral playing, and overall conception will make it a necessity for all fans of the opera." (Musicweb International)

Extra features

Vanessa, an operatic thriller; Cast Gallery