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Gavin Dixon
Fanfare, July 2017

The Teatro Real has assembled a strong cast, the most notable lead being Christopher Maltman as the governor Friedrich. Maltman has the ideal comic touch for this Pasquale-like character, and certainly looks the part in his broad-rimmed circular spectacles. Strong performances are also had from Peter Lodahl as Luzio and Manuela Uhl as Isabella, who between them have the major share of the singing. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Richard S. Ginell
Classical Voice North America, May 2017

Christopher Maltman sings Friedrich sonorously, and Manuela Uhl, despite a vibrato that nearly wavers out of control early on, has enough weight in her voice to credibly negotiate Isabella’s demanding part. The others meld into an ensemble cast of consistently lively acting and variable vocal quality.

Indeed, this is a young person’s opera—after all, a young person full of testosterone wrote it—and its theme of Sicilian la dolce vita overcoming the wintry Puritanism of the North should resonate with the young-in-spirit everywhere. © 2017 Classical Voice North America Read complete review

Christie Grimstad, April 2017

WAGNER, R.: Liebesverbot (Das) [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2016) (NTSC) OA1191D
WAGNER, R.: Liebesverbot (Das) [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7213D

Manuela Uhl assumes the role of Isabella. This lead bears a lot of responsibility; she’s the definitive novice with amazing projection, steely at times on the edges. As she amusingly plays up her piousness, she attempts to rescue her brother, Claudio (Ilker Arcayürek.) Their iPhone (“Telephone Duet”) conversation while Claudio is in prison is clever and feigned with sobriety. Adding to the zaniness, María Hinojosa plays up her character, Dorella, with buoyant sassiness as she attempts to seduce lieutenant Brighella (Ante Jerkunica.) Kasper Holten wonderfully exercises the job of character blocking with nuances of delightful facial expressions. It’s nonstop joy.

There’s much to like in this Das Liebesverbot. Even if one isn’t particularly keen on glancing at Richard Wagner’s comic side, consider a rethink. Here’s an amiable twist of fun. © 2017 Read complete review

Mike Ashman
Gramophone, April 2017

WAGNER, R.: Liebesverbot (Das) [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2016) (NTSC) OA1191D
WAGNER, R.: Liebesverbot (Das) [Opera] (Teatro Real, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7213D

Bolton conducts with enthusiasm. Like Downes he plays the ruling influence of each musical section for all its worth—the chorus music and the scenes with Luzio, Brighella and Dorella are unapologetically Italian, the nunnery duet for Isabella/Mariana wholly Weberlike; whereas the Sawallisch and Weigle recordings boil down Wagner’s borrowings into a kind of pre-mature Wagner style which lessens the score’s eccentricity and colour. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, March 2017

Richard Wagner’s early opera Das Liebesverbot—an adaptation of Measure for Measure—is nothing like his later canonical works, but it’s entertaining and holds the stage, even in last year’s messy Madrid staging by director Kasper Holten. Best known as a 12-tone composer, Arnold Schoenberg wrote the lushly romantic Gurre-Lieder for large orchestra, soloists and chorus: but this cantata should not be turned into an opera (of sorts) with its love triangle “plot” enacted onstage, however cleverly director Pierre Audi did it in Amsterdam. On both discs, hi-def video and audio look and sound great. The lone Gurre-Lieder extra is a behind-the-scenes featurette. © 2017 The Flip Side

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