Reviews of full operas as well as collections and recitals of arias

Mozart: Die verstellte Gärtnerin (CPO)

The new reference recording of Mozart’s Die verstellte Gärtnerin [DF]

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Arthaus)

(Déjà Review) Technically dated and sung in German, but with a cast that sing and act to the manner born [GF]


Strauss: Elektra (Sterling)

A thrilling piece of live theatre commemorating the career of a great singer, despite cuts [RMo]

puccini turandot warner pappano

Puccini: Turandot (Warner Classics)

A fine entry to the Turandot discography with the original conclusion by Alfano [LD]

Mozart’s Idomeneo

A survey by Ralph Moore

Stravinsky mavra tchaikovsky iolanta bayerische

Tchaikovsky: Iolanta/Stravinky: Mavra (Bayerische Staatsoper)

A marriage made in hell does no favours to either partner – perhaps we might hope for a divorce? [PCG]

Gomes: Salvator Rosa (Regis)

(Déjà Review) One can but thank Dorset Opera for their enterprise [CF]

Vivaldi: La Senna festeggiante (Château de Versailles Spectacles)

If you have no recording of this work in your collection, this is a good choice [JV]

Wagner ring 4853364

Wagner: Golden Ring (Decca)

A sampler for the newly remastered Decca/Solti Ring demonstrates that the improvements are more than simply cosmetic [PCG]

macfarren soldier retrospect

Macfarren: The Soldier’s Legacy (Retrospect Opera)

A highly melodic Victorian opera – good tunes, vivacious duets, trio and quartets [JF]

Lortzing Der Waffenschmied Hussain Capriccio C5490

Lortzing: Der Waffenschmied (Capriccio)

By and large, a worthy reading of Der Waffenschmied, and it is good to see a brand-new recording of the work [GF]

A guide to the best recordings of Gluck’s operas

by Ralph Moore

Verdi: Aïda (Pristine Audio)

A superlative transfer of an Aida which should be in every serious opera collection [PSt]

Marina Rebeka (soprano) Voyage (Prima Classic)

An attractive programme of songs by French composers [MC]

handel giulio harmonia mundi scholl

Handel: Giulio Cesare (Harmonia Mundi)

Probably the best DVD version and one of the best in any format [BW]

Auber Le Philtre Krakow Phil Naxos 8660514-15

Auber: Le Philtre (Naxos)

This light-hearted comedy is charming entertainment and the presentation is worthy [GF]

rautavaara magi arthaus

Rautavaara: The Gift of the Magi (Arthaus Musik)

(Déjà Review) An intelligent, small-scale opera well performed, and accompanied by a moderately interesting documentary [Gpu]

Donizetti gaetano PTC5186886

Donizetti: Signor Gaetano (Pentatone)

A welcome debut recital which promises much for the future of bel canto singing [MP]

korngold kathrin cpo

Korngold: Die Kathrin (cpo)

(Déjà Review) Music of your most romantic dreams and packing a grand emotional punch [RB]

Verdi: Rigoletto (Opus Arte)

An imaginative and involving production, but flawed by some intrusive and insensitive vulgarities [PCG]

Handel: Eternal Heaven (Erato)

Music making of the highest order for anyone with an open mind for whom no borderlines exist [GF]

Verdi falstaff WS121401

Verdi: Falstaff (Urania)

Though Sir Geraint Evans is rather gruff and dry-toned, this lavishly cast recording is worth anyone’s money [GF]

sibelius tempest kamu naxos 8574419

Sibelius: The Tempest (Naxos)

Kamu has the measure of Sibelius’s complete Tempest music [LW]

Verdi Aida PACO197

Verdi: Aida (Pristine Audio)

Pristine’s typically successful remastering into Ambient Stereo helps appreciate afresh the virtues of this classic recording [RMo]