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Naxos Audiovisual Division May 2024

This month’s audiovisual releases comprise a trio of irresistible performances representing the best in operatic traditions from Germany, Italy and Russia. Wagner’s Götterdämmerung concludes Deutsche Oper Berlin’s innovative interpretation of the composer’s visionary tetralogy in Stefan Herheim’s new production; Francesco Cileo’s Gloria represents a rare opportunity to savour the delights of an unjustly neglected 20th-century masterpiece; and Dvořák’s lyric fairy tale opera Rusalka sparkles with the consummate authority of soprano Asmik Grigorian in the title role.

2.110745-46 [DVD]

Richard WAGNER (1813–1883)

Nina Stemme, Soprano
Clay Hilley, Tenor
Albert Pesendorfer, Bass
Orchestra and Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Sir Donald Runnicles, Conductor
Stefan Herheim, Stage director

Götterdämmerung (‘Twilight of the Gods’) is the final opera of Wagner’s epic tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen (‘The Ring of the Nibelung’) in which his visionary masterpiece reaches its cataclysmic conclusion. Betrayal and death, murder and remorse, lie at the opera’s heart, in a work that draws together every plot element in writing of blazing intensity. As the Ring is restored to the Rhinemaidens, the age of the gods ends, with the opera offering the certainty of destruction but the consolation of renewal. Sir Donald Runnicles conducts an internationally acclaimed cast in this innovative new production by Norwegian director Stefan Herheim.

Also available on Blu-ray Video (NBD0160V)

DYN-38004 [DVD]

Francesco CILEA (1866–1950)
Dramma lirico in three acts – Libretto by Arturo Colautti

Ramaz Chikviladze • Anastasia Bartoli • Franco Vassallo • Carlo Ventre
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari
Francesco Cilluffo, Conductor • Antonio Albanese, Director

Francesco Cilea’s Gloria, performed here in its 1932 revised edition, takes as its theme the ultimately tragic story of two lovers caught up in a conflict in 14th-century Siena. The libretto is based on Victorien Sardou’s play La Haine (Hatred) and the opera features Cilea’s refined orchestral writing inspired by the Russian and French schools, with vocal lines that are varied and rewarding. Opera Today called this production ‘musically magical’, while extolled the inventive and convincing staging along with Francesco Cilluffo’s compelling musical direction.

Also available on Blu-ray Video (DYN-58004)

OA1384D [DVD]
[Opus Arte]

Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)

Asmik Grigorian • David Butt Philip • Aleksei Isaev
Emma Bell • Sarah Connolly
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House • Royal Opera Chorus
Semyon Bychkov, Conductor • Ann Yee and Natalie Abrahami, Directors

Rusalka, a water spirit, lives with her family in the pure waters of the forest lake. When she falls in love with a Prince, she sacrifices her voice and leaves her home in the hope of finding true love in a new world – a world that does not love her back.

Natalie Abrahami and Ann Yee create a poetic, contemporary staging of Dvořák’s lyric fairy tale, revealing our uneasy relationship with the natural world and humanity’s attempts to own and tame it. Semyon Bychkov conducts an all-star cast featuring Asmik Grigorian in the title role.

Also available on Blu-ray Video (OABD7322D)

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

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