Two new opera recordings are to be released by Warner Classics/Erato later this month.
The recording of Turandot, which is released on 10 March 2023, marks a number of important firsts. Before the recording sessions in Rome in March 2022, Sir Antonio Pappano had never conducted Turandot, and neither Sondra Radvanovsky nor Jonas Kaufmann as Calaf had previously performed the opera. It is also the first studio recording of Turandot to include the entire, final scene as completed after Puccini's death in 1925 by Franco Alfano.
Ermonela Jaho joins Radvanovsky and Kaufmann as the slave Liù, Michele Pertusi as King Timur and Michael Spyres (a surprising piece of casting) as the Emperor of China. Pappano conducts the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
The success of the entire project was confirmed by a public concert performance, greeted with a standing ovation, that took place a few days after the recording had been completed: “Stunningly beautiful,” was the view of Opera magazine, “Pappano brings out the dramaturgical sense of every moment of the score …The singing was outstanding.” Il Corriere della Sera wrote, “First and foremost, this Turandot will be remembered [for] Antonio Pappano's absolutely inspired achievement… It really felt like discovering a new Turandot.”
Roméo et Juliette
Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette is released on 31 March 2023.
“What makes Hector Berlioz such a great composer? – asks conductor John Nelson – In one word, originality… He broke all existing traditions of orchestration, structure, harmonic language, and storytelling. Even today, his music is fresh, surprising us at every turn with inexpressible beauty.”
Nelson adds two more astonishingly original works by Berlioz – the ‘dramatic symphony' Roméo et Juliette and the ‘lyric scene' La Mort de Cléopâtre to his Erato discography. He continues his relationship with the Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, his choice for the recordings of Les Troyens, La Damnation de Faust, Harold en Italie and Nuits d'été.
Joyce DiDonato, his unforgettable Didon and Marguerite, returns as the suicidal Cléopâtre and she is joined in Roméo et Juliette by tenor Cyrille Dubois, baritone Christopher Maltman, and the choruses of the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation and Strasbourg's Opéra du Rhin.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.