This month’s audiovisual releases from the Naxos Music Group present fresh interpretations of three major stage works.
Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is seen in The Royal Shakespeare Company’s first ever production reimagined especially for the screen, while the recording of La fille du régiment, filmed at last year’s Bergamo Donizetti Opera Festival, proved ‘ … an unforgettable evening … without a doubt the best production of the 2021 festival.’ (Opera Wire) and the Norwegian National Opera’s exceptional production of Puccini’s La bohème carried a Gramophone warning: ‘Don’t schedule any social engagements after watching this. You might not be in any shape to keep them.’
Set in the artistic but impoverished milieu of early 19th-century Paris, the tragic love of the poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimì is one of the most affecting in all opera. La Bohème’s arias are also some of the most intensely passionate Puccini ever wrote, making it is one of the best-loved of all his works. In what Opera News called a ‘thorough rethinking and brilliant re-creation’ this exceptional Oslo production, strongly cast and conducted, and staged by internationally acclaimed director Stefan Herheim, explores the work as never before to create what The New York Times called an ‘ultimately haunting’ experience.
Also available in Blu-ray Video (NBD0148V)
An opéra-comique by an Italian composer? This was a rarity in its day, but after the ‘barely averted disaster’ of its opening night, Donizetti’s La fille du régiment became a popular success, not least for the high Cs demanded from Tonio in the famous tenor aria ‘Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!’ The story revolves around Marie, the canteen girl of the regiment, whose lover Tonio joins the army to be near her just as she is claimed for marriage into nobility. This acclaimed Teatro Donizetti production was considered by turns ‘hilarious… tender and moving… [and] overwhelmingly brilliant’ by bachtrack.com.
King Leontes rips his family apart, but grief opens his heart. Will he find the child he abandoned before it is too late?
This production of Shakespeare’s play is staged for the screen by the RSC. Directed by Erica Whyman, the play is set across a 16-year span, from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II to the moon landings.