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Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2014

For me, the last scene of the first act, in which Disney confronts a malfunctioning animatronic Abraham Lincoln, is one of the most horrifying and wonderful things in modern opera. It’s the stuff of nightmares. The production from Madrid, directed by Phelim McDermott, is audiovisual magic worthy of old Walt himself! © 2014 Fanfare



Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, July 2014

A particularly powerful scene that closes the first act imagines an exchange between Disney and an animatronic Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Zachary James, where the darker aspects of Disney’s public views are exposed. Glass’ music is engrossing and hypnotic, a beguiling score rooted in the composer’s minimalist aesthetic. A swan song for one man’s beautiful dream. © 2014 Scene Magazine Read complete review



Pwyll ap SiƓn
Gramophone, January 2014

GLASS, P.: Perfect American (The) (Teatro Real, 2013) (NTSC) OA1117D
GLASS, P.: Perfect American (The) (Teatro Real, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7129D

Christopher Purves impressively conveys the complex and ultimately flawed character of Walt, and the disturbing dialogue between him and the excellent Zachary James as an animatronic President Lincoln powered by tubes and cables, which closes Act 1, is one of the opera’s high points.

Opus Arte’s production is excellent…and brings The Perfect American…very vividly to life. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Steven Bergman
EDGE on the Net, December 2013

Glass…continues to compose scores of interest, with the obligatory nod to his minimalist roots. The orchestra is in the guiding hands of frequent Glass conductor, Dennis Russell Davies. This opera represents the latest in Glass’ exploration of larger-than-life historical figures, which have included Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, who also appears (in robotic form) in “The Perfect American,” and is used to personify an antagonist to Disney’s anti-civil rights views.

Leo Warner and 59 Productions deserve special mention for the innovative and striking visual effects used in the work. A combination of animated drawings superimposed over pictures remarkably contribute to the storytelling of this man who made his life from animated figures. This work is an intriguing portrait of the man behind the brand that is Disney. © 2013 EDGE on the Net Read complete review



Ronni Reich
www.nj.com, December 2013

Directed by Phelim McDermott and conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, the production is thought-provoking, visually interesting and sonically rich.

Purves’ polished baritone lends itself well to Disney’s bravado…

Donald Kaasch offers an intense performance as Dantine, a disgruntled former Disney employee. John Easterlin gives a stylish turn as Andy Warhol, who appears wishing to paint Mickey’s creator, and Rosie Lomas sings with chilling purity as Josh, a boy who shares a hospital room with Walt and idolizes him. © 2013 www.nj.com Read complete review



Zachary Woolfe
The New York Times, December 2013

See the complete New York Times Holiday Gift Guide 2013

“The Perfect American,” filmed during its premiere run in Madrid earlier this year, finds Philip Glass in remarkably good compositional form, urgent and ambiguous, for a fantasia on the final days of Walt Disney. © 2013 The New York Times



Robert Tomas
The WholeNote, November 2013

The 20+ operas of Philip Glass for the most part astonish and intimidate in equal measure. These works of genius are cerebral affairs…they are usually not for the uninitiated. Fear not opera lovers, The Perfect American is what I would describe as Philip Glass in his “verismo” period. It is a shockingly traditional opera, devoid of abstract concepts…The work relents in the use of minimalism for the sake of a more John Adams-like approach to melodic structures and simple arias and duets. All that does not mean this is Glass-lite. There is still the tremendous discipline and intellectual rigour that we so value in his work. © 2013 The WholeNote Read complete review





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