All of Richard Strauss' stage works inhabit a special world of their own and Arabella is certainly no exception. Set amid the flamboyant aristocracy of 19th-century Vienna, the story centres on Arabella whose family fortunes have come to depend on her managing a wealthy man.
Determined to marry for love rather than riches, she encounters a mysterious and foreign nobleman in the form of Mandryka and after several romps, the opera ends positively on a blissful note… Gerald Fenech
Lucrezia Borgia is not one of Donizetti's masterpieces, but it nonetheless can be enormously stageworthy. Despite a wonderful piece or two for tenor and baritone and the justly famous "Il segreto" for mezzo, most of the burden falls upon the shoulders of the heroine. As in Lucia, if there isn't a great Lucrezia, it's not a great Lucrezia… – Classics Today, Robert Levine
Filmed live at the Vienna State Opera in December 1983, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s elegant staging of Manon captures all the pathos of Massenet’s masterpiece. Adam Fischer leads an all-star cast featuring the incomparable Edita Gruberova in the title role and the brilliant Francisco Araiza as Le chevalier des Grieux. Massenet’s Manon was immensely successful from the outset, and it has remained a hit ever since its world premiere in Paris in 1884.
“A moving performance, well cast and with sympaethetic conducting from Carlo Rizzi…Shicoff is in splendid voice, phrasing and shaping his big set-pieces sensitively, and Edita Gruberova makes a moving Violetta.” (Penguin Guide)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) is an opera by Richard Strauss with a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas III by Nikolaus Harnoncourt was released 2010 on the Warner Classics label. Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas III is a 9-disc set.
Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas II by Nikolaus Harnoncourt was released 2010 on the Warner Classics label. Mozart 250th Anniversary Edition: Operas II is a 8-disc set.
Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) wanted to move the audience of his operas to tears. And this is exactly what Beatrice di Tenda manages to do: it has great music and the story really touches the heart. In this production by Daniel Schmid, one can experience the stunning singers Edita Gruberova and Michael Volle in the main roles – with Marcello Viotti conducting the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House. In Beatrice di Tenda, Bellini departs from the belcanto style, which he used in Norma, and explores a new way of musical expression, which brought to the fore a new warmth and different characteristics. The story is based on true events from the 15th century. It focuses on the impressive Beatrice di Tenda, who is wrongly accused by her husband to be unfaithful and is ultimately beheaded. The premiere of the opera was given at the Teatro la Fenice in Venice on 16 March 1873. Although Beatrice di Tenda is not Bellini’s most successful opera, the title role is a popular showpiece among sopranos. In this production, Beatrice is brilliantly interpreted by the “Queen of Belcanto”, Edita Gruberova.