I believe this is the only note-complete performance of this opera, and furthermore, the only one that is sung in all of the original keys (in almost every other recording "Casta diva" and the duets are transposed down). It is a spectacular example of bel canto. Recorded in 1964, Joan Sutherland was at her peak, exhibiting fearless, beautiful singing, thoroughly accurate in fiorature and breath control, and, for Sutherland, dramatically telling. Her usually dreadful diction is somewhat better than elsewhere, and she presents Norma's unhappiness and acceptance of her fate honestly. She's not as good when she must express anger, but she tries very hard, and in the face of such gorgeous singing, one barely minds. Of course she never comes near Callas in psychological depth, but why bother bringing that up? –Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com.
Roberto Devereux, the last and probably the greatest opera Gaetano Donizetti composed for the San Carlo Opera House in Naples, is based on the intense, tangled relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex, who was beheaded for treason in 1601. The role of the queen is one of the strongest in the bel canto soprano repertoire. In this video (essentially a New York City Opera production transplanted to the Filene Center at Wolf Trap performing arts center outside Washington, D.C.), Beverly Sills gives one of the great performances of her career. She had been singing the role in New York for several years, to great critical acclaim, and had made it her own, though her voice was beginning to lose some of its freshness when this performance was filmed in 1974…–Joe McLellan
John Tavener was the perfect choice as the composer to create the musical score for the film CHILDREN OF MEN. Much of the music used throughout the film (songs like 'Ruby Tuesday' etc) are well enough known that they don't require re-recording in this memoir of a deeply moving film. But it is the opportunity to listen without the visuals to the music Tavener created 'that brings an even deeper appreciation for his accomplishment. In addition to Tavener's own compositions this CD includes the Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau rendering of Mahler's 'Nun Will Die Sonn' So Hell Aufgeh'n' from the 'Kindertotenlieder' (a more apt song cycle could not be imagined for this childless film) as well as Krzysztof Penderecki's 'Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima' as conducted by the composer and Handel's excerpt from 'Alexander's Feast' ('War, he sung, is toil and trouble').
'The Federalist', by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: …
Based on Gogol’s fantastical and comic story of the Devil’s antics on Christmas Eve, this magical blend of opera and ballet is brought to vivid life in Francesca Zambello’s colourful production. Magnificent set designs (Mikhail Mokrov) and costumes (Tatiana Noginova), and an excellent, largely Russian cast provide authenticity. Splendid dancing by The Royal Ballet and Cossack dancers completes the spectacle.