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Subject: Re: Twelve Operatic Masterpieces You May Not Know
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 26 Dec 2017 21:54:44 -0500
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I'm sorry I didn't see this and chime in earlier - these are among my favorite topics:  
unusual operas and recorded live performances on DVD.  

At the top of my heap is the Royal Opera's production of Szymanowsk's Król Roger with an 
incendiary performance by Mariusz Kwiecie&#324;.  The production is a stunner, the music 
gorgeous and the supporting cast up to the challenges.  It's definitely an opera worthy of 
more exposure and we're fortunate it's starting to turn up at some major companies.  Hello 
Met?

It is available on BluRay, but is also available for free in HD on youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_P2qXvRg0M


I'd also add Janacek's "From the House of the Dead" from the Aix Festival.  Patrice 
Chéreau's production is impressive, adding layers to the drama and making it flow in near 
cinematic fashion.  It's not an easy opera to watch, savage at times, but there is also a 
heart beating beneath it and, it does what I ask the most of opera:  to move me.  
Powerfully. The DVD from Deutsche Grammophone is stunning and as a bonus feature a 
documentary with Chéreau and Maestro Boulez about the production and the opera itself.  

Keeping with a theme of 20th century operas, I'd put Glyndebourne's production of Britten's 
"Billy Budd" ahead of most of the video performances I've seen.  Jacques Imbrailo presents 
is a vocally sonorous, youthful and ultimately heartbreaking Billy, surrounded by a 
magnificent cast and first rate playing from the London Philharmonic led by Mark Elder.  It's 
on BluRay from Opus Arte.

Here is Mr. Imbrailo in Billy's final aria "And farewell to thee, old Rights o' Man."  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loofqNmPauk

Alfano's "Cyrano de Bergerac" receives a gorgeous performance with Roberto Alagna in 
arguably one of his finest roles.  The production was tailor-made for him by his brothers for 
Montpellier and he makes for a dizzying, swashbuckling, glorious hero - outstanding 
throughout, and enormously moving in his death scene, which I watch each time through 
tears.  Nathalie Manfrino is stunning as Roxanne, and Richard Troxell is in fine form and 
appropriately almost ridiculously handsome.  The DD is available from Deutsche 
Grammophone.  It's also available for free on youtube, but in less than great picture quality 
and no subtitles.  

There is so much out there that most of us "don't know."  Here's to our discovering it!

p.

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