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

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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]

Jonathan Tetelman (tenor) Arias (Deutsche Grammophon)

Tetelman will win many new admirers with this outstanding debut album [MC]

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Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Naxos)

An innovative and at times challenging production, with high calibre singing and playing [RWe]

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Pristine Audio)

Pristine delivers this classic Barbiere in an airy and better-balanced revision, free of hiss and noise [MZ]

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Macfarrren: The Soldier’s Legacy (Retrospect Opera)

Macfarren’s 1864 ballad-chamber-pastoral-Opera da Camera for four singers [JW]

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Mozart: Cosi fan tutte (Pristine Audio)

A glorious documentation of the high standards of the ensemble at the Royal Stockholm Opera more than 80 years ago [GF]

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Verdi: Rigoletto (Opus Arte)

A striking new Rigoletto from the Royal Opera House, strongly cast and very well conducted [RWe]

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Britten: The Turn of the Screw (Alpha)

A vivid rollercoaster approach, the listener smarting on the front row stalls [MG]

Martinů: Larmes de couteau (Capriccio)

Martinů’s one-act operas heard in persuasive, lively performances [JW]

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Mattheson: Boris Goudenow (CPO)

A long hidden operatic version of Boris Godunov gets its first recording with a respectable cast of young performers [MP]

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Hina Spani (soprano) Complete Recordings (Marston)

The complete recorded output of a great but neglected soprano – with a fine bonus [RMo]

Handel: Theodora (Erato)

An extrovert reading of Theodora but one short of consolation [JW]

verdi aida pristine

Verdi: Aïda (Pristine)

Pristine illuminates afresh a vintage account of a perennial favourite, always very listenable but now even better [RMo]

Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana (CSO Resound)

The orchestral playing and the choral contributions are impressive; the final scene is as spine-chilling as ever [GF]

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Donizetti: Signor Gaetano (Pentatone)

A magnificent full-size portrait of a truly great bel canto artist [GF]

Mozart La clemenza di Tito Alpha793

Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito (Alpha)

A very good new Tito which marks a new chapter in the development of Nicky Spence as the title character [ST]

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Renée Fleming (soprano) Greatest Moments at the Met (Decca)

These live recordings form a tribute to one of the great voices of the past quarter-century [RMo]

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve (Naxos)

A superlative cast in a crisply modern, but relatively faithful production of a rarely performed opera [MP]

Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Dynamic)

Another impressive release by the Donizetti Opera festival, uncut and on original instruments [RWe]

Verdi rarities CDS7941

Verdi: French Rarities (Dynamic)

One new Verdi discovery combined with some previously released material, all neatly performed [MP]

Fuoco Sacro Naxos

Fuoco Sacro (Naxos)

Very interesting content, marred by some sound issues and a jumpy narrative flow [DJB]

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Rimsky-Korsakov: Christmas Eve (Naxos)

Captivating performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s enchanting Christmas opera [CRo]

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Rameau: Zoroastre (Alpha)

The original version of Zoroastre, substantially different from the usually performed revision, superbly presented here [RWe]