Opus Arte is an award-winning provider of classical music and theatrical content, releasing around twenty-five titles per year on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, TV and online. Opus Arte is proud to be associated with many of the world’s finest arts organisations, including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Teatro Real, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The label specialises in opera and dance, but its catalogue embraces many types of musical and theatrical experiences – from grand opera and Shakespeare to fairy-tale ballet, contemporary dance and artist portraits. Founded as an independent label in 1999, Opus Arte is now part of the Naxos Music Group, the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of classical music.
DONMAR SHAKESPEARE TRILOGY
The Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy began in 2012 with an all-female production of Julius Caesar led by Dame Harriet Walter. Set in a women’s prison, the production asked the question, ‘Who owns Shakespeare?’ Two further productions followed: Henry IV in 2014 and The Tempest in 2016, all featuring a diverse company of women. The Trilogy enthralled theatre audiences in London and New York and was shared with women and girls in prisons and schools across the UK. The film versions were shot live in a specially built temporary theatre in King's Cross in 2016, and now offer screen audiences unique access to these groundbreaking productions.
‘I had always been ambivalent about the presentation of live theatre on screen, believing that actors are compromised by being asked to perform for two different audiences at once and cameras are limited by not being able to move where they should.
The new in the round staging also enabled us to put the cameras on the eyelines of the actors, mitigating some of the technical shortcomings of conventional performance “capture”.’ – Phyllida Lloyd, director
NEW AND UPCOMING RELEASES
Swan Lake has a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. This new production by Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett features additional choreography whilst remaining faithful to Petipa and Ivanov’s classic. John Macfarlane’s opulent designs provide an atmospheric, period setting for this enthralling love story, illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Marianela Nuñez brings both poignancy and glitter to the dual role of Odette / Odile, with Vadim Muntagirov as the yearning Prince Siegfried, while the corps de ballet are showcased at their spellbinding best as the enchanted swans and cygnets.
‘Nothing short of a triumph.’ – Evening Standard ★★★★★
The President’s Own United States Marine Band in partnership with the All-Star Orchestra under the baton of Gerard Schwarz have won this year’s Emmy® Award in the category for Special Event Coverage (Other than News and Sports). This is the first Emmy® Award for the Marine Band and the seventh for the All-Star Orchestra.
The awarded show ‘New England Spirit’ is also featured on Naxos' DVD ‘Masterpieces for Symphonic Band’, with a programme of works by William Schumann, Vincent Persichetti and Sousa.
All-Star Orchestra music director Gerard Schwarz said: ‘Receiving these awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a confirmation of the importance of what we are all striving for: to make accessible for free the joy and understanding of great music to the widest possible audience through public television and the world’s largest educational website, the Khan Academy. We are so grateful to the United States Marine Band and our co-production team, to our generous sponsors, and to the dedicated public television stations in our vast country for believing in classical music.’
THE ALL-STAR ORCHESTRA & GERARD SCHWARZ
THE PRESIDENT’S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND
The annual International Classical Music Awards’ (ICMA) gala concert, held on May 10 at the Culture and Congress Centre in Lucerne, was preceded by the annual awards ceremony. Naxos and its affiliated labels together received four awards out of the 27 winners.
The Best Collection Award went to the 6-disc boxed set of Sibelius’ Incidental Music, featuring the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and renowned conductor Leif Segerstam. The jury stated: ‘The box of incidental music of Jean Sibelius reveals hidden treasures, full of theatrical atmosphere and emotions as well as interesting reminiscences of the composer’s more familiar masterworks. The Turku Philharmonic orchestra and Leif Segerstam dig deep into this rich theatrical sound world, captivating meaningful details and colourful sound.’
OehmsClassics took the award in the Symphonic Music category for its recording of works by Sibelius and Grieg performed by Dmitrij Kitajenko and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln, notably for the performance of ‘Sibelius’ Second Symphony … one the most atmospheric and gripping available on disc.’
‘With extremely rich and differentiated textures and a forceful breathing it is stunning in its immediacy and impact.’ – Pizzicato
The highlight of the gala concert was Leif Segerstam conducting Sibelius' Valse triste with the Lucerne Symphony. The performance was well-received; conductor Lawrence Foster was deeply moved: ‘I have conducted Valse triste a lot in my career, yet, after having heard Leif’s performance tonight, I will never conduct it again.’ You may listen to the performance from the ICMA website.
Congratulations to all the ICMA winners! Click on the following link to view the full list: www.icma-info.com.
Violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt have been heralded as three of the most important classical performers of their day. During the last eight years, artists forming this unique trio have recorded eight albums of chamber music for Naxos' affiliated label Ondine with great acclaim.
The Tetzlaff-Tetzlaff-Vogt Trio recently toured North America in 2019 for the first time in three years. They gave 7 performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, New York, Washington DC, Vermont and Denver between April 26 and May 4, with the programmes featuring chamber works by Schumann, Dvorák, Mozart and Shostakovich. The performances received critical acclaim, with The Washington Post noting that ‘their combined musical voice speaks with incontestable integrity.’
Christian Tetzlaff has been internationally recognised as one of the most sought-after violinists and important musicians on the classical music scene for many years. Tanja Tetzlaff performs an extensive cello repertoire and has played with leading orchestras and in solo performances worldwide. Lars Vogt enjoys a high-profile career as a chamber musician and concerto soloist, and has also established a major educational programme in Germany that connects children with inspiring world-class musicians.
ACCLAIMED RECORDINGS FEATURING THE TRIO
Lars Vogt is also releasing a new album of piano sonatas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In this album, two baroque-influenced and virtuosic early sonatas are coupled together with a touching A minor Sonata K. 310 – written at the time of the composer’s mother’s death – and a delightful, Haydnesque Sonata K. 333.
The winners of the 2019 International Opera Awards were announced on April 29 at a ceremony held at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. The annual event celebrates achievement in opera around the world, recognising excellence in categories that include performance, design and direction, as well as education and outreach.
German conductor Marc Albrecht received the Conductor of the Year award. An Austro-German Romantic specialist, Albrecht directed the production of Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane (‘The Miracle of Heliane’) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin last year. The audiovisual release of this new production will be released on Naxos in June.
The Royal Opera House Orchestra won the Opera Orchestra of the Year award. The orchestra appears on many of Naxos-affiliated label Opus Arte's recordings, including productions presented by the Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet.
Opera Vlaanderen won the coveted award for Opera Company of the Year. The company is known for its creative productions and ambitious programming. Their recordings of works by Rossini, released on the Dynamic label of the Naxos Music Group, were acclaimed by critics.
To see the full list of winners and nominees, go to the International Opera Awards website.
RECORDINGS FEATURING MARC ALBRECHT
RECENT RECORDINGS FEATURING THE ROYAL OPERA ORCHESTRA
RECORDINGS OF OPERA VLAANDEREN’S PRODUCTIONS
Ohad Naharin has been hailed as one of the world’s preeminent contemporary choreographers, as Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, created in Israel by Martha Graham in 1974. With Naharin’s Virus he delivers a vivid adaptation of Peter Handke’s play Offending the Audience inspired by the company dancers’ personal experience in the turmoil of the Israeli society, a choreography where rhythmic pulse and sudden breakdowns convey a powerful emotional charge.
This stunning performance is now available as a visual album on Apple Music!
Naharin’s Virus Highlights: Visual Album
Excerpts from Ohad Naharin’s ballet “Naharin’s Virus”
|Choreography||Ohad Naharin in collaboration with Batsheva’s dancers|
|Original Music||Karni Postel, Habib Alla Jamal, Shama Khader|
Batsheva Dance Company
|Video Director||Tommy Pascal|
Filmed on 20 December 2014 at the Théâtre national de Chaillot – Salle Jean Vilar, Paris.
Distinguished by The New York Times as ‘a leader of contemporary American lyricism’, composer Jonathan Leshnoff is renowned for his music’s striking harmonies, structural complexity and powerful themes. His Symphony No. 4 is a powerful new work written for the Violins of Hope, a collection of restored instruments that survived the Holocaust (www.violinsofhopenashville.com). The composer draws inspiration from an ancient Jewish mystical text, Heichalos, to explore spiritual and ethical questions at the heart of the Jewish experience. This world premiere recording also features his energetic Starburst and his Guitar Concerto, a stunning virtuoso showcase for soloist Jason Vieaux.
In this documentary, Jonathan Leshnoff describes the inspiration and musical journey of his Symphony No. 4, and Nashville Symphony musicians Gerald Greer and Carolyn Bailey give us a closer look at the Violins of Hope instruments.
The Violins of Hope are a collection of restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during The Holocaust. In 2015, Nashville Symphony commissioned critically-acclaimed composer Jonathan Leshnoff to write a symphony dedicated to this project, and in 2018, the Nashville Symphony premiered this work performing on the actual Violins of Hope.
MORE RECORDINGS OF MUSIC BY JONATHAN LESHNOFF
Naxos, the world's leading performing arts DVD distributor, brings you an extensive streaming video library of classical music performances, operas, ballets, live concerts, documentaries, and much more!
Watch the world's greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand. Stream any video in the library from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Yehuda Inbar was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1987. As an avid champion of contemporary music, he commissioned Michael Finnissy to complete Schubert’s Sonata Reliquie D 840, premiered the piece in May 2017 and recorded it for the first time for this album.
The highly interesting programme comprises the Schubert Reminiscences by Jörg Widmann, the original Reliquie and the unfinished Sonata D 571.
MORE RECOMMENDED RECORDINGS
Looking for new classical music? Our selection of curated playlists has you covered with music to complement the season, moment, or activity! This month, relive your favourite film soundtracks with riveting symphonic performances on our Star Wars & John Williams playlist. Then, whether you’re studying for end-of-term exams or chipping away at that next big project, listen to unCLASSIFIED’s Brain Fuel playlist to give an extra boost to your focus! Rediscover traditional wedding music classics with heartwarming performances in Wedding Essentials, and take a deep dive into twentieth-century musical experimentation with Grand Piano’s Russian Avant-Garde Piano Music playlist. Happy listening!
The Magdalen College Choir was founded in 1480. Magdalen College was at that time one of the oldest and largest choral foundations in late medieval England, and this historic legacy has been preserved and maintained over five centuries. The Choir, which now enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the UK, exists primarily to sing the daily church services in Magdalen College Chapel. They also sing at a number of special occasions throughout the year, including the famous May Day celebrations, an ancient tradition dating back to the 16th century.
Magdalen College Choir has toured Japan, the USA, Hungary, Italy, Holland, Germany, Poland and France; concert appearances have included the BBC Proms and Cadogan Hall. The choir has worked with a number of leading orchestras, including the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In Oxford, it has enjoyed live and recorded collaborations with both composers and instrumentalists: albums have included the music of John Ward and Thomas Tomkins with the celebrated viol group, Phantasm, and the work of the renowned composer of sacred music Matthew Martin. The choir won a Gramophone award under former director Grayston Ives, and has collaborated with composer George Fenton, most notably in Richard Attenborough’s movie Shadowlands, with Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney, and on the award-winning soundtrack for the BBC TV series Blue Planet.
In this first commercial recording under its new Informator Choristarum Mark Williams, The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford brings its beautiful sound to 14 glorious anthems composed by great composers associated with the city of Oxford. Featuring stunning a cappella work, as well as accompanied singing, the music transports us to the iconic spires of the city, pointing us towards the clouds with beautiful harmonies – restarting the longstanding relationship between the choir and Opus Arte.
MORE RECORDINGS FEATURING MAGDALEN COLLEGE CHOIR