This year, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden has provided us with a video
for the ages. With a dream cast of Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, and Bryn Terfel, the set is self-recommending, even without the superlatives that are being heaped upon it. It easily rises to the very top of a quite mixed field of
Another video gem is provided by the Tutto Verdi project on the C Major label, this time on Blu-ray disc. The little known Verdi comedy
Un giorno di regno
is given a
tour de force
revival at the Teatro Regio in Parma, featuring the peerless performance of mezzo-soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, a bit of youthful Verdian arcana not to be missed.
As mezzo-sopranos go, we currently have our own world class prima diva in American Joyce DiDonato. Her latest recital disc,
, features several enjoyable, yet technically challenging baroque arias and the accompaniment of Il Complesso Barocco under Alan Curtis. Enjoy while you have the opportunity, I suspect DiDonato’s singing will be ranked with the very greats before she is through, and this attractive disc provides another fine example of her matchless vocalizing.
A mezzo-soprano Norma and a soprano Adalgisa are not what we have come to expect, but that is the way Bellini apparently wrote his opera. With no apologies to Sutherland and Horne, we have a new CD version here from Decca that will knock your socks off, with Cecilia Bartoli and Sumi Jo assuming the two lead roles. Some traditionalists might object, but this is wonderful music making and a must-have for all bel canto fans.
Pappano / Gheorghiu / Kaufmann / Terfel / Royal Opera House O & Ch
EMI 04063 (DVD)
Un giorno di regno
Renzetti / Antonacci / Loconsolo / Porta / Marianelli / Bordogna / Teatro Regio di Parma O & Ch
C MAJOR 720304 (Blu-ray)
JOYCE DIDONATO DRAMA QUEENS
DiDonato / Curtis / Il Complesso Barocco
Antonini / Bartoli / Jo / Osborn / Pertusi / La Scintilla / International Ch Vocalists
DECCA 4783517 (2 CDs)