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new-classics.co.uk, October 2016

This Blu-ray release features a 2012 recording of Marc Albrecht conducting the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and a stirring modern-day staging of this dramatic masterpiece by renowned Russian director, Dmitri Tcherniakov. Rising young soprano Svetlana Ignatovich is wonderfully moving as the saintly Fevroniya and the outstanding, mostly Russian cast also includes the excellent bass-baritone Vladimir Vaneev as Prince Yuri Vsevolodovich, Alexei Markov, Maksim Aksenov and British tenor John Daszak as the villainous drunkard Glishka. © 2016 new-classics.co.uk Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, October 2014

…we are fortunate to have such a committed production in Blu-ray.

Fevroniya is one of Rimsky’s greatest creations, and soprano Svetlana Ignatovich captures the essence of the role with assuredness and great lyrical propulsion. The rest of the cast is equally good…great sound, singing, and sets make for an enthralling three hours. © 2014 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2014

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (The) (DNO, 2012) (NTSC) OA1089D
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (The) (DNO, 2012) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7109D

Dmitri Tcherniakov’s staging of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh’ is a masterpiece, and on the musical side there is no less power under the inspired baton of Marc Albrecht. For anyone who does not know this outstanding and certainly underrated work, this video is a must-buy. © 2014 Pizzicato



David Patrick Stearns
Gramophone, April 2014

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (The) (DNO, 2012) (NTSC) OA1089D
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, N.A.: Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (The) (DNO, 2012) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7109D

The committed theatricality of the cast…goes far to making the production convincing on its own terms, especially tenor Maxim Aksenov’s vocally hail, boyish prince, John Daszak’s devoured-from-within madness as Grishka and, most of all, Svetlana Ignatovich as Fevroniya, a long role that she portrays with a nervous air of often joyful expectation and sings without strain or fatigue. This could be a career-making performance—and one achieved with the inspired support of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra under Marc Albrecht. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, February 2014

What makes this production so effective is the emphasis throughout on realism; with the exception of the near-death experience these are very real things in a very real world. In the opening scene Fevronia is seen in her farmstead in the forest, and even the cornstalks are waving in the breeze. The blood that is scattered across the stage seems all too real, and Fevronia’s love for her ‘prince’ is palpable from the start; she has his shirt off him in minutes. All this may sound like the sort of production that sends many viewers screaming for the hills as an example of the betrayal of the composer’s intentions. God knows there are enough mindless examples of that sort about. This however is something different, something very serious, and something much better. While remaining true to the spirit and letter of Rimsky-Korsakov’s music, this is a re-imagining of the score which really works and grips the viewer throughout.

Then, there’s the music. Here we have some stage noise, but we can see what is causing it; and the orchestral playing simply leaves its rivals lying in the dust. The strings, full and romantic in tone, play the glorious melodies with ecstasy; and Marc Albrecht paces the score with understanding and passion, making one realise how advanced the supposedly ‘conservative’ Rimsky-Korsakov—at the end of his career—could be when he had something to get his teeth into. Sections of Fevronia’s final vision even pre-echo the final scenes of Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. In short, this is quite simply the best recording of the music of this opera to be had in any medium.

The singing doesn’t let the side down, either. In the Cagliari recording Tatiana Monogarova was a superb Fevronia, but Svetlana Ignatovich is pretty well her equal, and she is a marvellous actress to boot. John Daszak (of Ukrainian parentage) has a larger voice and his Grishka Kuterma is a frightening study in psychological disintegration. He goes from drunken bully to traitor terrified of pain, and finally into total madness when he tries to strangle Fevronia and leave her alone in the woods.

Even were there a plethora of other productions around, this would still merit a place at the top of any list. The work should also be on any list; it is simply one of Rimsky-Korsakov’s greatest scores, and its neglect remains scandalous. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2014

On the fringe of today’s operatic repertoire, this is the second DVD release in the past 18 months of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh. It is certainly not the easiest of operas to stage, creating its mix of mysticism and realism is difficult in terms of credibility, and becomes well neigh impossible when the city of Kitezh is suddenly supposed to become invisible. For Opus Arte, Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production at the Netherlands Opera in 2012 brings the story, more or less, into the present day…Vocally it is outstandingly good, Svetlana Ignatovich, a beautifully focused soprano voice as Fevroniya; John Daszak a highly plausible villain, Grishka, with the charming lyric tenor of Maxim Aksenov as Prince Vsevolod. Among the long list of cameo roles, Iurii Samoilov, is excellent as the singing beggar…The colours in this Blu-ray version are stunning… © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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