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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



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



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, January 2017

BOITO, A.: Mefistofele (Bavarian State Opera, 2015) (Blu-ray, HD) 739304
VERDI, G.: Traviata (La) (Baden-Baden, 2015) (Blu-ray, HD) 733804

Recent stagings of two classic 19th century operas are distinguished by top-notch casts, beginning with Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele, brought into the musical stratosphere by peerless bass-baritone Rene Pape as the devil, tenor Joseph Calleja as Faust and a riveting Kristine Opolais as Margherita. Verdi’s Traviata has at its center Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko, who makes the courtesan Violetta her own and may be well on her way to becoming the new Anna Netrebko, now that Netrebko has settled into a comfortable middle age. Both discs feature first-rate hi-def video and audio. © 2017 The Flip Side




Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, December 2016

Boito’s Mefistofele is an opera that one could take a lifetime waiting to see staged which I don’t believe is a true reflection of its quality as it deserves a place in the repertory. Schwab draws me hook, line and sinker into a nightmarish often shocking world. René Pape takes the plaudits for a magnificent performance as Mefistofele. © 2016 MusicWeb International




Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, November 2016

The excellent chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper is clearly flourishing in its active involvement especially in Ave, Signor degli angeli and Salve Regina/Ave, Signor from the prologue; both glorious and affecting. Adding colour are the raucous Oktoberfest choruses from act one while from the epilogue the finale Ave Signor is magnificently done. The children’s choir also sounds in fine voice adding a valuable contribution to the choruses. Visually stimulating, Stefano Giannetti’s choreography is very effective too. …Wellber conducts the Bayerisches Staatsorchester with real passion and it responds with committed playing, generating inescapable drama.

Love it or loathe it Roland Schwab’s highly controversial and often disturbing staging of Mefistofele makes a mightily powerful impact, drawing me in hook, line and sinker. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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