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Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, July 2017

…the music is extremely well served. René Pape is certainly one of the greatest basses in the operatic world, and here his singing is glorious. …Kristine Opolais sings very well as the ill-fated Margherita. The chorus and minor characters are all fine. But the real glory of this recording is the singing of Joseph Calleja as Faust. …His voice has grown in power and assurance while losing none of its lyric beauty and elegance. He simply sings as well as any tenor singing today. …The conductor leads his chorus and orchestra in an exciting performance. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Audiophile Audition, June 2017

Bass René Pape’s Mefistofele is expressive and believably threatening, as I would expect. Joseph Calleja’s Faust is deftly portrayed as naive and foolish in equal measure, and the chorus is spot on with their timing and delivery in every scene they’re in. © 2017 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Eric Myers
Opera News, June 2017

Always a welcome bad-boy presence onstage, René Pape is an ideal Mefistofele, …As Faust, Joseph Calleja manages some exquisite phrasing, particularly in Act IV and the Epilogue, …Kristine Opolais, one of the better actresses in opera, makes the most of the comparatively small role of Margherita, particularly in the prison scene. …As Elena, Karine Babajanyan makes a much stronger vocal impression…

The smaller roles of Wagner, Marta and Pantalis are well sung by Andrea Borghini, Heike Grötzinger and Rachael Wilson, …Omer Meir Wellber conducts Boito’s score with great flair… © 2017 Opera News Read complete review



George Hall
BBC Music Magazine, March 2017

Performance:
Recording:

BOITO, A.: Mefistofele (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (NTSC) 739208
BOITO, A.: Mefistofele (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, HD) 739304

The cast is about as good as one could come up with. René Pape revels in the grotesque vocal grandeur of his suited and booted Mefistofele, with Joseph Calleja offering a thoughtful, sweet-toned Faust, painfully aware of the wrong turns he takes on his road to eventual salvation. Kristine Opolais is a powerful Margherita, if dressed far too opulently for the libretto’s simple village maiden. Karine Babajanyan makes an alternately suave and haunted Helen of Troy, while the Munich chorus and orchestra perform with enthusiasm and to considerable effect under the focused baron of Omer Meir Wellber. © 2017 BBC Music Magazine



Jim Westhead
MusicWeb International, February 2017

The performances of all the principal members, chorus, ballet dancers, conductor and orchestra are first rate. None of the principals are weak in any way and René Pape is a super Mefistofele. Not only is he in very fine voice, but he is a splendid actor as well. His facial expressions are a treat to watch. Joseph Calleja as Faust is also in good vocal fettle, albeit he is a less subtle actor than Pape. That said, he makes the most of his role and is well cast. The character of Marguerite is very well done indeed by Kristine Opolais—she is in splendid voice and so is Karine Babajanyan as Helen of Troy. The much smaller parts of Marta, Wagner, Pantalis and Nereo are all admirably sung and acted… © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, February 2017

BOITO, A.: Mefistofele (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (NTSC) 739208
BOITO, A.: Mefistofele (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, HD) 739304

The whole—well recorded and helpfully filmed—is most precisely organised, balanced and conducted by Omer Meir Wellber, …this release is a good first calling post for Boito’s drama. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Robert Tomas
The WholeNote, January 2017

Opulently staged and phenomenally cast, this is a showcase for Mefistofele, the Harley-riding Rocker and Faust, the deluded Playboy. The sublime Kristine Opolais as Margherita and consistently gorgeous playing of the orchestra under the baton of Meir Wellber add to the incredible aural power of the recording. Equal parts eye candy and feast for the ears, this is grand opera as it should be. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review





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