Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?  
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, November 2014

spectacular production © 2014 Fanfare

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, July 2014

Kudos to the Royal Opera House in London for taking [Robert] on, a production resulting in the first video of [it] on the market. More importantly, kudos to them for mounting a spectacular production, one that is more musically satisfying than any of the CDs that I have heard…This is spectacularly well cast, always a difficulty with Meyerbeer. There are no weaknesses, and in truth no important cast members that you would merely call adequate.

Pelly’s production is relatively straight-forward, with minimalist sets that are evocative without being too specific to time and place. The supernatural elements are convincing. Overall, the production supports the music and the singing effectively.

The sound quality is very good: clear, warm, well balanced. The audience is in no way intrusive. In every way this is an extremely important and valuable release. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

James A. Altena
Fanfare, January 2014

…this performance is musically excellent and presents the score to its best advantage…Marina Poplavskaya is a superbly touching Alice…As Robert, Bryan Hymel…is the real deal, with a ringing, securely produced voice possessing both heft and sheen, and is able to bang out the stratospheric high notes…John Relyea boldly steps into the shoes of Samuel Ramey in the role of Bertram and fills them most ably, with his firm, sonorous, sepulchral bass filling the theater and limning out the diabolical dimension of his satanic character. The supporting cast is generally fine, with the excellent Raimbaut of Jean-François Borras deserving special mention. Conductor Daniel Oren…provides fine leadership from the podium that is both energetic and lyrical, while the chorus and orchestra of Covent Garden are up to their usual high standards. The recorded sound and film quality are both excellent as well.

…this performance far outstrips all of those previous versions for superior singing, instrumental playing, and sound quality…highly recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Mark Mandel
Opera News, December 2013

MEYERBEER, G.: Robert le diable (Royal Opera House, 2012) (NTSC) OA1106D
MEYERBEER, G.: Robert le diable (Royal Opera House, 2012) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7121D

…the singers excel. Tenor Bryan Hymel…as Robert, is a pillar of strength in a role studded with high notes…Marina Poplavskaya…surmounts a flawed technique with generous tone, sincerity and intensity as selfless Alice. Patrizia Ciofi…as Isabelle…uses her slender voice skillfully…bass-baritone John Relyea is a vocally satisfying Bertram who believably embodies the role…Tenor Jean-François Borras is terrific as Raimbaut, Alice’s fiancé, and the Royal Opera Chorus shines. © 2013 Opera News Read complete review

Christie Grimstad, September 2013

This interpretation is highly visual, engaging, eye catching and infectious from the moment Daniel Oren raises his baton on the Royal Opera House Orchestra.

Robert le diable requires four strong voices in the opera’s principal roles…the acting and singing is absolutely top-notch.

Meyerbeer fans will enjoy having this collection for their bookshelves. Even if one is tentative toward Giacomo Meyerbeer, please reconsider. Robert le diable contains a multitude of marvelous passages, beautiful arias and ensembles that fill the theater with vitality. One can be optimistic that future Meyerbeer recordings will be forthcoming in the years to come. Highly recommended. © 2013 Read complete review

George Dorris
Ballet Review, September 2013

Productions of Robert have become even rarer than of Meyerbeer’s other French operas, making this DVD of Covent Garden’s 2012 revival the more welcome. But how to produce such a work now? Rather than recreate the original spectacle or give it a post modern gloss, Laurent Pelly takes a playful approach…the action is clear throughout. Musically, it’s more than adequate. Bryan Hymel has the high notes for Robert, with Marina Poplavskaya strong as Alice and Patrizia Ciofi as Princess Isabelle…the others are satisfactory, shaped by Oren and the Covent Garden orchestra. The filming is good and the notes thoughtful. © 2013 Ballet Review

Patrick Mack
Parterre Box, August 2013

…our debt of gratitude should be enormous to Opus Arte for giving us a taste of this work which has never even enjoyed a commercial recording until now.

The conducting duties here fall to Daniel Oren…he and the Covent Garden Orchestra do a fine job of supporting the singers in an unfamiliar work.

Jean-François Borras plays the secondary tenor role of Raimbaut…he has a nice lyric voice of some distinction…

The role of Bertram makes an enormous number of demands on the performer who accepts it…and John Relyea meets most of these with his warm lyric sound and straightforward mien.

…Bryan Hymel who’s singing Robert…exhibits not only a beautifully focused tone at its best but stunning, old school, breath control right from the top of the evening…it’s an astonishing performance driven in equal parts by youthful vigor as much as it is technical skill. He has a very authentic stage presence…

…this is an important glimpse at a forgotten masterpiece that deserves more than an accidental rehearing. © 2013 Parterre Box Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group