Opera Award

Andriessen

Andriessen Theatre of the World

Leigh Melrose, Lindsay Kesselman, Steven van Watermeulen, Maatijs van de Woerd, Cristina Zavalloni; Los Angeles Philharmonic/Reinbert de Leeuw
Nonesuch 7559793618

Reviewed Christmas 2017

Berlioz

Berlioz Les Troyens

Joyce DiDonato, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Michael Spyres et al; Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, Badischer Staatsopernchor; Choeur de l’Opéra du Rhin/John Nelson
Erato 9029576220

Reviewed Christmas 2017

Carnevale 1729

Works by Giacomelli, Orlandini, Albinoni, Porpora, Leo and Vinci

Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano); Il Pomo d’Oro/Stefano Montanari
Pentatone PTC5186678 (hybrid CD/SACD)

Reviewed September 2017

A programme loosely based on the 18th-century Venetian carnival offers Ann Hallenberg a colourful window to dazzle us with her astounding virtuosity. Here is a glorious voice which never falters and whose intuitive ornamentation is a constant delight. Il Pomo d’Oro under Stefano Montanari’s direction provides vital support.

Teodor Currentzis

Mozart Don Giovanni

Dimitris Tiliakos, Vito Priante, Myrtò Papatanasiu, Kenneth Tarver, Karina Gauvin, Guido Loconsolo, Christina Gansch, Mika Kares; MusicAeterna/Teodor Currentzis
Sony Classical 88985316032

Reviewed Christmas 2016

Donizetti

Donizetti Le Duc d’Albe

Laurent Naouri, Michael Spyres, Angela Meade, Gianluca Buratto, David Stout, Trystan Llyr Griffiths, Robin Tritschler, Dawid Kimberg; Opera Rara Chorus/Stephen Harris; Hallé/Sir Mark Elder
Opera Rara ORC54

Reviewed May 2016

Cavalli

Cavalli L’amore innamorato

Nuria Rial (soprano), Hana Blazíková (soprano); L’Arpeggiata/Christina Pluhar
Erato 2564616643

Reviewed March 2016

Sir Antonio Pappano

Verdi

Aida
Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier; Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Sir Antonio Pappano
Warner Classics 2564610663

Reviewed November 2015

Sir Antonio Pappano knows his Verdi – as is in evidence in a performance of the Italian’s Egypt-inspired opera that is as musically brilliant as it is dramatically convincing. The orchestral playing is scintillating, the starry soloists utterly sublime.

Tchaikovsky

The Queen of Spades
Misha Didyk, Tatiana Serjan, Larissa Diadkova, Alexey Shishlyaev et al; Bavarian State Opera Children’s Choir; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir/Mariss Jansons
BR Klassik 900129

Reviewed Christmas 2015

This is a supremely skilful recording of an exciting live performance. The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is beautifully shaped and pin-sharp and the singers are vivid and characterful. The chorus is impressive, too, with a sophisticated sound that oozes drama.

Barry

The Importance of Being Earnest
Barbara Hannigan, Katalin Károlyi, Hilary Summers, Peter Tantsits et al; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group/Thomas Adès
NMC NMC D 197

Reviewed January 2015

It’s impossible to resist Gerald Barry’s riotous adaptation of Wilde’s comic play, especially with these performers. By throwing everything in the air, with a dizzyingly sequence of musical styles, borrowings and invention, Barry captures and enhances the essence of this perfect farce to create an inspired opera.