Ondine’s third release with the star baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is devoted to sacred works by Russian composers and Russian folk songs. Hvorostovsky is accompanied by the prestigious Russian Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing,” conducted by Lev Kontorovich, a choir that keeps up the best traditions of Russian choral singing.
The world premieres of Iolanta and The Nutcracker took place on 18 December 1892 at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre. “The execution of both,” wrote the composer to his brother Anatoly the next day, “was magnificent, and that of the ballet perhaps too magnificent – its brilliance made one’s eyes tired.” Gustav Mahler conducted the first performance of the one-act opera outside Russia on 3 January 1893 in Hamburg and also directed the Viennese premiere of Iolanta on 22 March 1900.
José Cura, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Verónica Villarroel and Yvonne Naef lead the star cast of Verdi's blazingly passionate opera, in Elijah Moshinsky's new Royal Opera House production co-produced with Teatro Real Madrid, with sets by the noted film designer Dante Ferretti and costumes by Anne Tilby.
This is a star-led performance of one of the most popular romantic operas with the unrivalled pairing of Fleming and Hvorostovsky as the doomed lovers. Their onstage chemistry, emotional singing and outstanding acting make this a truly special and unique production. Thousands of movie-goers watched this production live in cinemas across Europe and the US in February 2007, when the production and the singing of the central characters met with great critical acclaim. Valery Gergiev, Russia's greatest living conductor, leads Russia's classic opera, with a thrilling account of Tchaikovsky's most intense and passionate score.