This month’s new audiovisual releases feature three splendid stage works. Deutsche Oper Berlin’s production of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg comes in a visually stimulating production hailed as ‘entertaining throughout [and] thought-provoking’ by BR Klassik. That’s followed by Donizetti’s grand opera La Favorite in a production by Valentina Carrasco that won the 2023 Abbiati Prize for Best Production. Finally to London’s Covent Garden and a Royal Ballet performance of Prokofiev’s Cinderella that was recorded live earlier this year and features magnificent new sets and costume designs by a creative team steeped in the magic of theatre, film, dance and opera.
Triumphantly premiered in 1868, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg evokes the singing guilds of mid-16th-century Nuremburg, a focal point of the Northern European Renaissance. Wagner’s only mature comic opera concerns the young knight Walther von Stolzing’s love for Eva whom the town clerk Beckmesser also covets. Against the background of a singing contest, cobbler-singer Hans Sachs’ nobility ensures the reconciliation of youth and age, and tradition and innovation. Deutsche Oper Berlin’s provocative new staging was considered ‘entertaining throughout’ and ‘thought-provoking’ by BR Klassik.
Also available on Blu-ray Video (NBD0178-79V)
Composed for the Paris Opéra, the romantic but ultimately tragic narrative of Donizetti’s grand opera La favorite is set amidst the Moorish invasions of Spain and the power struggles between religion and the state in the 14th century. The novice Fernand abandons his monastery having fallen in love with the noble Léonor, not knowing that she is the King’s mistress and favourite. Drawing on traditions established by Rossini and Meyerbeer, La favorite is noted for Donizetti’s innovative use of the orchestra and for some of his most renowned and enthralling arias. This acclaimed production opened the 2022 Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo, and is performed with its original French libretto.
Also available on Blu-ray Video (DYN-57992)
Escape to an optimistic realm of giddy dreams and rewards for kindness in The Royal Ballet’s dazzling new production of Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. Celebrating the ballet’s 75th anniversary, a creative team steeped in the magic of theatre and film bring new atmosphere to Cinderella’s ethereal world of fairy godmothers and pumpkin carriages, handsome princes and finding true love. Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov star as Cinderella and the Prince in Ashton’s timeless reworking of Charles Perrault’s famous rags-to-riches story, a showcase for the deft musicality of the Company’s Founding Choreographer and the beauty of Prokofiev’s transcendent score
Also available on Blu-ray Video (OABD7316D)