Puccini’s musical vision of the American West is vividly brought to life in Giancarlo Del Monaco’s atmospheric production. Deborah Voigt is Minnie, the girl of the title and owner of a bar in a Californian mining camp. Marcello Giordani sings Dick Johnson, the bandit-turned-lover hunted by the cynical sheriff Jack Rance (Lucio Gallo), who wants Minnie for himself. Complete with whiskey-drinking cowboys, gunplay, a poker game, and a snowstorm, La Fanciulla del West is Puccini at his most colorful.
Leading director Richard Jones staged his witty, darkly comic realization of Gianni Schicchi for The Royal Opera in 2007. The production was revived in 2012 and here he completes the trio with two new productions of Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica. Antonio Pappano conducts an acclaimed cast including Eva-Maria Westbroek, Ermonela Jaho, Lucio Gallo, Elena Zilio and rising star Francesco Demuro. “A triumph…three wonderfully directed and expertly acted productions. Add in Pappano's impeccable conducting and his valuable introductions to the pieces, and you have a nigh-on ideal Trittico.” BBC Music Magazine
This DVD is a new production of the Puccini favourite, staged at Salzburg 2012.Tenor Piotr Beczala rocks as Rodolfo, Mimì’s lover. Massimo Cavalletti sings Rodolfo’s friend Marcello with uncommon finesse and beauty of tone. Nino Machaidze is a moving Musetta.The robust orchestration of this popular opera verges on the ethereal as Mimì’s life slips away. Throughout his reading, conductor Daniele Gatti strikes the perfect balance between sentiment and sentimentality, vigour and fragility, the specter of untimely death and the quick and young it haunts. The New York Times wrote, “You don’t often hear Mimì sung with such vivid character and sheer charisma.”
Franco Zeffirelli’s magnificent staging of Puccini's final opera, captured here in High Definition Widescreen, is one of the most opulent of all Met productions. A fairy-tale set in a mythical China, the opera tells of the icy Princess Turandot, whose fatal riddles test princes who seek her hand in marriage. Maria Guleghina takes the demanding title role and Marcello Giordani is Calàf, the unknown prince. Young Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya and veteran American bass-baritone Samuel Ramey co-star. Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons makes his Met debut conducting Puccini's great score which includes the best-loved of all tenor arias - Nessun dorma.
Contemporary Rome is the setting for this unique and highly innovative version of Puccini’s Tosca, performed in the Roman locations – and at the same times of day – as Puccini had written into his score. Thus the action opens in the beautiful 16th-century church of Sant’Andrea della Valle at noon, where Cavaradossi (Domingo) meets the fugitive Angelotti, moves to the Farnese Palace that evening where Tosca (Catherine Malfitano) dramatically makes a pact with the lustful Scarpia (Ruggero Raimondi), and finally to the battlements of the Castel Sant’Angelo at dawn the following day where the final drama is played out.
Oscar-nominated director Robert Dornhelm lends the story a darker glow, with Bertrand de Billy's soft-centred but warm conducting and two superb star performances. Villazón as Rodolfo, less… sings with a focused intensity which at time recalls Caruso, and makes a scruffily credible hero… Netrebko's creamy-voiced Mimì is no naïve little seamstress; her scarlet satin and glamour-girl make-up suggests she's been around… but her anguish in Act III is no less heartfelt. Dornhelm's sombrely sumptuous images capture a credibly chilly, squalid, yet defiantly romantic milieu.
Alessandro Corbelli takes the title role in Annabel Arden’s whirlwind production of Puccini’s compact opera, in which the scheming Gianni Schicchi retrieves for himself the spoils of a disinherited family to pave the way for his daughter to marry her love. As performed at Glyndebourne, Gianni Schicci is here combined in a double bill with Rachmaninov's dark setting of Alexander Pushkin's 'little tragedy'. The Miserly Knight, also directed by Annabel Arden and featuring an outstanding performance from Sergei Leiferkus in the role written for the great Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin.
“Jonas Kaufmann as Cavaradossi sings perhaps one of his greatest roles: E lucevan le stelle is unbelievably moving, and his cry of "Vittoria! Vittoria!" is guaranteed to make your hair stand on end! Angela Gheorghiu is a passionate Tosca, and Bryn Terfel unctuously oozes sleaze in a chilling portrayal of Scarpia.” (James Longstaffe)
Mention Giacomo Puccini's name and opera-lovers all over the world will think of grand opera and passionate love stories. One of the world's most famous arias comes from the composer's final opera, Turandot: "Nessun dorma" none shall sleep because by morning the Chinese princess is determined to have discovered the name of the unknown prince. The work is remarkable for its Chinese local colour, its opulent crowd scenes, its powerful choruses and its characters overwhelmed by their emotions. Enthusiastically acclaimed by its audiences, the present production combines spectacular and touching scenes on the Bregenz Festival's vast lakeside stage.