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Naxos proudly presents a wide-ranging and ever-growing catalogue of DVD titles

Verdi’s dramatic saga of revolution and revenge, Macbeth, Rossini’s brilliantly witty It Turco in Italia and Copland’s finest film score, The City, were released in January this year. Among other DVD titles, Naxos will release Donizetti’s sensational opera Lucrezia Borgia, Schubert’s rarely-performed Anfonso und Estrella, Mascagni’s Amica and Giordano’s Marcella, operatic rarities that you’ll want in your collection.

Jazz fans will jump for joy at the release of the Jazz Icons Series 3 DVDs and the musical and cultural riches of China are celebrated among Naxos’ best-selling Musical Journey DVDs.


DONIZETTI: Lucrezia Borgia
Theodossiou • de Biasio • Zanelatto • Palacios • Albani • Orchestra e Coro del Bergamo Musica Festival Gaetano Donizetti • Severini

Based on Victor Hugo’s most sensational play, Lucrèce Borgia, a scandalous tale of murder, torture, incest, homosexuality, drunkenness and orgies, Donizetti’s opera is one of the great masterpieces of Italian bel canto repertoire. While omitting some of its more excessive elements, the libretto by Felice Romani inspired Donizetti to compose superb arias, duets, ensembles and choruses, bringing each act to a stirring conclusion. Beautifully costumed and designed, brimming with high drama and pathos, this production stars in the infamous title role Greek diva Dimitra Theodossiou, praised for her stupendous acting and singing in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux (Naxos DVD 2.110232).
SCHUBERT: Alfonso und Estrella
BärOrgonasovaMuffHampsonWottrichArnold Schoenberg ChoirChamber Orchestra of EuropeHarnoncourt

An all-star cast, world-famous choir and orchestra conducted by the renowned Nikolaus Harnoncourt came together in 1997 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Franz Schubert’s birth with a new production of his rarely performed opera Alfonso und Estrella.  Despite his inexperience in the field, Schubert here provides some of his most poignantly beautiful music, showcases his sensitive use of orchestral colour and reveals a surprising ability to manage the large forces of grand German Romantic opera. Winner of two Emmy and many other prestigious awards, Brian Large was the cinematographer for this DVD, which captures the Vienna Festival’s historic production of one of Schubert’s grandest yet unjustly neglected major works.

The German weekly Der Zeit praised the “distinguished quintet of lieder singers in what  is essentially a lieder opera. First to mention is Thomas Hampson as the displaced King Froila of Leon, with excellent diction, without grand operatic gestures and entirely believable; very expressive; making human greatness believable. Next, Olaf Baer as the new King Mauregato whose full voice accurately represents a usurper while at the same time portraying a human being that actually deserves pity. There's Alfred Muff as General Adolfo who accurately portrays a pompous military man. Luba Orgonasova is Estrella—she sings with a clear, cleanly nuanced and effortless soprano voice. And finally there is Endrik Wottrich with his characteristic and well formed voice. Nikolas Harnoncourt and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe act as a good lieder accompanist with brilliant orchestral display on occasion. The Schoenberg Choir supplies the ensembles perfectly.”


VERDI: Macbeth
Altomare • Kudinov • Zhuravel • Pelizzari • Voleri • Coro Lirico Marchigiano "V. Bellini" • Fondazione Orchestra Regionale delle Marche • Callegari

Verdi was justifiably pleased with Macbeth, his tenth opera and his first on a Shakesperean subject—it would long remain his own favourite among his ‘early period’ operas. Eighteen years later, at the invitation of the Théâtre Lyrique in Paris, he substantially revised the score, and this version (sung in Italian) is presented here in Pier Luigi Pizzi’s visually arresting 2007 production. The talented young cast is headed by Giuseppe Altomare as Macbeth, one of Verdi’s most profoundly modern anti-heroes—a political animal driven to bloody regicide yet doomed by his very success—with Olha Zhuravel as his obsessively ambitious wife, driven to madness by her own guilt.

ROSSINI: Il Turco in Italia
Vinco • Marianelli • Concetti • Adami • Taddia • Prague Chamber Chorus • Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento • Allemandi

Filmed live in 2007 at the prestigious Rossini Opera Festival in the composer’s birthplace, Pesaro, Il turco in Italia is a madcap ensemble opera with an inspired score that boasts music of both comic genius and extraordinary beauty. Set in Naples, it spins a crazy tale around a poet who uses the romantic entanglements of the inhabitants with a Turkish prince as inspiration for the plot of his next play. Ultimately, life imitates art as all ends happily, but not before a planned abduction leads to a chaotic situation of mistaken identity…

“The recitatives rollick along and really sound like drama, you can believe something is happening. I imagine that this was a brilliant evening in the theatre.” (MusicWeb International)

Guinan (narrator) • Post-Classical Ensemble • Gil-Ordonez

Made for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (“The World of Tomorrow”), The City is a seminal documentary film distinguished for the organic integration of narration (scripted by city planner Lewis Mumford), cinematography (Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke), and music (Aaron Copland). The score, arguably Copland’s highest achievement in film, was also his ticket to Hollywood; it has been called “an astonishing missing link not only in the genesis of Copland’s Americana style but in American music and cinema” (Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times). As the film contains no dialogue, it is possible to create a fresh soundtrack and discover musical riches inaudible on the original monaural recording. As Copland created no suite from The City, the present DVD at the same time marks the first recording of this music in its entirety other than the original film.


Polverelli • Piscitelli • Lanza • de Biasio • Alberghini •
Coro Lirico Marchigiano "V. Bellini" •
Fondazione Orchestra Regionale delle Marche • Frizza


In Donizetti’s opera Maria Stuarda the rôles of the doomed queen and her cousin, Elizabeth I, have been taken by some of the greatest divas, from Malibran to Gruberova and Tosi to Baltsa, each revelling in the high drama of their tragically linked fates. “Contributing greatly to the success of the work, the young Maestro Riccardo Frizza revealed himself as a deep and sensitive interpreter of this score, managing to capture all the nuances of Donizetti’s music…Laura Polverelli portrayed with elegance and pride the character of Elizabeth, her furies, doubts and jealousies; Maria Pia Piscitelli was a wonderful Maria Stuarda, passionate, sorrowful, proud, dignified when sentenced to death, recalling her past sins yet conscious of her innocence” (MusiCulturA)
Vassileva • Dashuk • Sartori • Giannino •
Orchestra e Coro del Festival Puccini •  Alberto


Although one of his most consistently lyrical operas, La rondine (The Swallow) remains one of Puccini’s least known. Dissatisfied with the result of his work, Puccini wrote three versions, with two different endings, and continued to make further revisions up to his death in 1924. The innovative 2007 production at the Torre del Lago Giacomo Puccini Festival, presented on this DVD, is in effect a fourth version, which combines Acts I and II of the first version (1917), with Lorenzo Ferrero’s 1994 orchestration of parts of the Finale of Act III of the incomplete third version (1921), some of which had survived only in piano score, as well as Ruggero’s Act I romanza, Parigi è la città dei desideri, from the second version (1920).

With a sparkling score reminiscent of Franz Lehár and Richard Strauss, La rondine, set in mid-19th century Paris, tells the story of Magda de Civry, a young courtesan who falls in love one evening with Ruggero Lastouc, the handsome son of a childhood friend of her protector, Rambaldo Fernandez. Although Magda believes that her compromised social position prevents their marrying, in Puccini’s third version it is Ruggero who leaves Magda when he discovers that she is the mistress of Rambaldo.
Umberto Giordano
GIORDANO: Marcella
Daolio • Formaggia • Dilengite • Carone • Girardi • Slovak Chamber Choir • Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia • Benzi

This centenary performance of Umberto Giordano’s Marcella was prepared from the composer’s manuscript, the score and parts having been destroyed during World War II. Recalling Verdi’s La Traviata and Puccini’s La Rondine, as well Giordano’s own Andrea Chenier and Fedora, Marcella is the story of a poor girl and a painter whose idyllic affair is shattered when events reveal that her true love is actually a prince incognito.

“Serena Daolio and Danilo Formaggia make an attractive couple…Formaggia sings the role [of Giorgio] with enviable freedom and certainly relishes Giordano’s long-lined melodies...The supporting cast are all well cast, providing good support in the ensembles in the opening scene…a fine, creditable account of an interesting rarity.” (MusicWeb International)
Original Theatre Poster
Malavasi • Sotgiu • Dilengite • Rosiello • Slovak Chamber Choir • Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia • Benzi

Fifteen years after Cavalleria rusticana made the 26-year-old composer internationally famous, Pietro Mascagni’s conducted the première of Amica, his only opera setting a French libretto (although an Italian version followed swiftly). Set in the Savoy mountains in 1900, this classic verismo opera tells the tale of two brothers whose love for the same woman leads inexorably to tragedy.

“The musical riches of this opera demand a hearing. From this version you’ll get some idea of the orchestral mastery and the sureness with which it progresses from an idyllic beginning to a darkly dramatic conclusion in a short space of time.” (MusicWeb International)

Full Naxos & Marco Polo DVD Catalogue

Jazz Icons Series 3 DVDs
The third series of Jazz Icons DVDs, presenting live concerts by Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Lionel Hampton and Nina Simone, are now available. All seven titles are also available with an exclusive bonus DVD (not sold separately) in an 8-DVD Box Set.

Musical Journey DVDs
Kung hei fat choi - Celebrate Chinese New Year with the magical range of Naxos Musical Journey DVDs featuring traditional Chinese music and ravishing visuals of famous locations across China. The five individual titles (Beijing, Guilin, Hangzhou, Shanghai & Xi’an) are also available as a 5-DVD Box Set.

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11:46:34 AM, 26 May 2016
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