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Naxos of America Featured OPERA Releases - July 8, 2014

PARABLES - AN INTERFAITH ORATORIO

COMPOSER: Robert Aldridge • Herschel Garfein (libretto)

ARTIST: Monica Yunus (soprano) • Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano) • Joseph Okell (tenor) • Phillip Zawisa (baritone) • University of Minnesota Chorus • University Singers • University of Minnesota Opera Theatre Orchestra • Dancers of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists • Kathy Saltzman Romey (conductor) • David Walsh (director)

2110358 | 747313535859

1 DVD | US SRP $24.99

Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein are internationally renowned for their GRAMMY® award-winning opera Elmer Gantry (2007). Their follow-up collaboration, Parables (2010) is a cantata for soloists, a 200-voice choir and 80-piece orchestra. The attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001 haunts its writing but the use of passages from the Torah, New Testament and Koran seeks to bind the major faiths’ commonality, hopeful of healing and reconciliation. 


 

I BRIGANTI

COMPOSER: Saverio Mercadante

ARTIST: Bruno Praticò (bass) • Maxim Mironov (tenor) • Vittorio Prato (bass) • Petya Ivanova (soprano) • Rosa Fiocco (mezzo-soprano) • Atanas Mladenov (baritone) • Juesús Ayllón (tenor) • Posen Camerata Bach Choir • Virtuosi Brunensis • Antonino Fogliani (conductor)

8660343-44 | 730099034371

2 CD | US SRP $19.99

A highly regarded composer in his day and considered the equal of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, Saverio Mercadante pioneered the transformation of bel canto opera into real music drama. He wrote the operatic tragedy I Briganti (The Brigands) not only to prove himself to the Parisian public but as a direct challenge to Bellini’s I puritani, premièred the previous year. Mercadante’s individual style of canto fiorito and distinctive theatricality demonstrate that opera doesn’t need to be a mere succession of virtuoso vocal arias, and it paved the way for Verdi’s later dramas. Prepared from a new critical edition, this production was described as “outstanding” by The New York Times.

 

MONNA VANNA, ACT I & SONGS

COMPOSER: Sergei Rachmaninov

ARTIST: Moscow Conservatory Opera Soloists (Evgeniya Dushina, soprano • Vladimir Avtomonov, baritone • Dmitry Ivanchey, tenor • Edward Arutyunyan, tenor • Mikhail Golovushkin, bass) • Moscow Conservatory Students Choir and Symphony Orchestra • Soile Isokoski (soprano) • Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor, piano)

ODE 1249-2 | 761195124925

1 CD | US SRP $16.99

•      Sergei Rachmaninov’s (1873-1943) rarely heard, unfinished opera Monna Vanna was the only major score he took with him into exile in the USA after the 1917 revolution.

•      This new recording is based on Gennadi Belov’s new edition and conducted by an iconic artist and Russian music expert Vladimir Ashkenazy.

•      The second part of this disc features Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski singing seven Rachmaninov songs (including the hauntingly beautiful Vocalise), accompanied on the piano by Mr. Ashkenazy.

 

CHANSON D’AVRIL - FRENCH CHANSONS AND MÉLODIES

COMPOSER: Georges Bizet • Henri Duparc • Franz Liszt • Maurice Ravel

ARTIST: Nicole Cabell (soprano) • Craig Terry (piano)

DE 3450 | 013491345024

1     CD | US SRP $16.99

•      “It’s a voice that wraps itself around you…long, sinuous phrasing, warm tone and sophistication...” – The Times of London. Such praise is typical of critical reaction to American soprano Nicole Cabell’s ravishing singing.

•      Cabell has taken the classical world by storm since winning the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World award. Drawn strongly to the French vocal repertoire, Cabell, on her first recording for Delos, explores the world of the chanson and its direct descendant, the mélodie.

 

BLAISE LE SAVETIER

COMPOSER: André Danican Philidor

ARTIST: Almazis-Iakovos Pappas (conductor) • Ensemble Almazis • Caroline Chassany • Elisabeth Fernandez • Christophe Crapez • Paul-Alexandre Dubois • Jérome Gueller

MAG111196 | 3576071111961

1 CD | US SRP $16.99

•      André Danican Philidor’s (1726-95) first one-act opera comique, 1759’s Blaise le savetier, reveals his sharpened craft, intelligence and dynamism.

•      This live world premiere recording took place in September 2013 in Paris.

•      Conductor and clavecinist Almazis-Iakovos Pappas (b. 1964), dedicated opera comique publicist, directed the proceedings.

 

 

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