Naxos Audiovisual Division June 2024

Donizetti had big shoes to fill when he arrived at Naples’ Teatro di San Carlo shortly after Rossini’s departure from the city’s opera scene. One of his calling cards was Alfredo il Grande, which premiered in 1823. Now receiving its first audiovisual recording some 200 years later, this little-known opera seria is a celebration of heroism and magnanimous royalty in 9th-century England. Its companion new release this month is a spectacular performance of Verdi’s Aida that comes in a powerful new Royal Opera production directed by Robert Carsen, in which Verdi’s glorious, monumental score is conducted by Antonio Pappano.

DYN-38031 [DVD]

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797–1848)
Alfredo il Grande
Dramma per musica in two acts
Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola

Antonino Siragusa • Gilda Fiume • Adolfo Corrado
Orchestra Donizetti Opera • Hungarian Radio Choir
Corrado Rovaris, Conductor • Stefano Simone Pintor, Director

Gaetano Donizetti had big shoes to fill at his debut in Naples in 1823, arriving at the Teatro di San Carlo just after Rossini’s departure, full of talent but still seeking his true voice. Alfredo il Grande is influenced by Rossini, but also shows hints of great things to come. The narrative is a celebration of heroism and magnanimous royalty, taking us to 9th century England where King Alfred the Great is on the run from the Vikings. Revived two centuries after the spectacular failure of its premiere, this little-known opera seria can now stand as a reflection on humanitarian values and gestures of resistance against the destructiveness of war.

Also available on Blu-ray Video (DYN-58031)

OABD7321D [BD]
[Opus Arte]

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901)

Elena Stikhina • Francesco Meli • Agnieszka Rehlis • Ludovic Tézier
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House • Royal Opera Chorus
Antonio Pappano, Conductor • Robert Carsen, Director

Love and duty collide and nations clash in Verdi’s political drama, starring Elena Stikhina. In this new production, director Robert Carsen situates Verdi’s large-scale drama within a contemporary world, framing its power struggles and toxic jealousies in the apparatus of a modern, totalitarian state. Antonio Pappano conducts Verdi’s glorious, monumental score.

The Opus Arte Critics’ Choice series is a diverse range of titles featuring some of the most acclaimed recordings in the label’s catalogue at a very special price. In this series we celebrate many famous classics while also revisiting some of the more innovative, original and perhaps less well-known productions that the label has long been renowned for showcasing. All the new Critics’ Choice releases contain the beautifully designed, original artwork and colour booklets which, along with a new unique cover design uniting all the titles, makes them ideal for collectors.

OA1330D [DVD]
[Opus Arte]

Charles-François GOUNOD (1818–1893)

Michael Fabiano • Erwin Schrott • Irina Lungu
Royal Opera Chorus • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Dan Ettinger, Conductor • David McVicar, Director

Disillusioned with life, the aged philosopher Faust calls upon Satan to help him. The devil Méphistophélès appears and strikes a bargain with the philosopher. Faust can have youth and the love of the beautiful Marguerite, but only in exchange for his soul…

Gounod’s masterpiece is given the grandest of Royal Opera stagings in David McVicar’s richly layered and theatrically exuberant production, with the drama moved to Second Empire Paris, spectacular sets and costumes, and extensive dance. Michael Fabiano as a seductively witty Faust, Erwin Schrott as a devilish Méphistophélès and Irina Lungu as a passionate Marguerite are joined by the Royal Opera Chorus and a cast of Royal Opera favourites. Dan Ettinger conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in Gounod’s gloriously tuneful score.

Also available on Blu-ray Video (OABD7285D)

OA1226D [DVD]
[Opus Arte]

William SHAKESPEARE (1564–1616)
Henry IV

Harriet Walter
Sophie Stanton • Claire Dunne • Jade Anouka
Jackie Clune • Shiloh Coke • Karen Dunbar
Phyllida Lloyd, Director

What makes a King? What makes a father? Shakespeare’s monumental history play travels to the heart of family, duty and country.

This innovative film, recorded before a live audience, documents the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female stage production, adapted from William Shakespeare’s two plays about King Henry IV, Prince Hal and Falstaff.

The bold, contemporary production is presented as if played by inmates of a women’s prison and was described by critics as ‘unforgettable’. The director for both stage and screen is Phyllida Lloyd, and Harriet Walter is Henry IV.

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 entralled 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 ground-breaking productions.

To stream a collection of selected audiovisual releases on Amazon Prime Video, follow this link or click on the Amazon Prime video logo.

View all Features »