Video disc reviews

Blu_ray_logoI was beginning to think that I was not reviewing as many video recordings as in the past.  It’s actually true but unsurprising since I rarely dip into the back catalogue anymore focussing almost entirely on new issues, which any case have slowed since there has been much less to record.  So, yes, I’m down from about 60 per year to 43 in the last twelve months but there’s a twist.  Increasingly my video reviews have been appearing in the print edition of Opera Canada.  So 8 of the last year’s 43 didn’t appear here.  I thought I’d just publish a list, by edition of the magazine, with a one sentence review of each disk in case anybody felt it was worth digging them out.  So…

Summer 2020:  Glück – Orphée et Eurydice – Chicago Lyric – Heavy on ballet and poor video direction.

Fall 2020: Adam – Le postillon de Lonjumeau – Opéra comique – Clever production of a very funny, little known piece… and … Mozart – Die Zauberflöte – Glyndebourne – A “concept” production by Barbe and Doucet set in Vienna’s Hotel Sacher.  Fun but not especially deep… and … Taking Risks – doco about Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium program including a semi-staged performance of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress – fascinating look at a very worthwhile endeavour.

Spring 2021: Weinberger – Frühlingsstürme – Komische Oper – Weimar era operetta in a glitzy Barrie Kosky production conducted by Jordan de Souza… and… Beethoven – Leonora (1805 version) – Opera Lafayette – early version of Fidelio in a budget production.

Summer 2021 – Leoncavallo/Mascagni – Cav and Pag – DNO – partially successful Robert Carsen attempt to make the two pieces work together… and… Gay – The Beggars’ Opera – Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord – Robert Carsen and Bill Christie collaborate in a savagely funny takedown of Brexit Britain.

And coming up… Handel’s Ariodante from the Salzburg festival with Bartoli in her first trouser role.  She is spectacular.  Rameau’s Platée from the Theater an der Wien; another Carsen/Christie collaboration set during Paris fashion week.

The links here are to Opera Canada as archived on Gale Academic Onefile via the Toronto Public Library.  You will need to be logged into the TPL website for them to work (clicking on the link will bring up the TPL log in screen) or, obviously, have other means of accessing Gale.

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