The Scottish Opera's live concert performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore was given at the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival, and the one-night-only show was well received by both the audience and critics. Featuring a charismatic cast including John Mark Ainsley as Sir Joseph Porter, Elizabeth Watts as Josephine, Andrew Foster-Williams as Captain Corcoran, Toby Spence as Ralph Rackstraw, Hilary Summers as Buttercup, and comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor as the Narrator, the production was especially noteworthy for conductor Richard Egarr's historically informed approach to the music.
Béatrice et Bénédict, Berlioz's last completed work, is based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, but the libretto, by the composer, dispenses with most of the intrigue of the original and reduces the plot to a single premise: Béatrice et Bénédict mask their affection for each other by squabbling, and then finally come to their senses and get married. Although designated an opera, it is closer in effect to an opéra comique because of its very extensive use of spoken dialogue.
André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry was the greatest French composer of opéra-comique in the eighteenth century. His librettist for Le Magnifique, Jean-Michel Sedaine, took a tale by La Fontaine and fashioned it into a compelling libretto. Grétry responded with an outstanding score, including one of the first programmatic overtures in musical history. His expressive love music, and extended preludes and postludes, add to the theatrical variety of this important and varied opera.
This SIX CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the world of opera, including the worlds most famous and popular tenor and soprano arias, duets and choruses. With a running time of over 7 hours of music this box set provides excellent value for money. This delightful collection includes everyones favorite opera highlights, from the lyricism of Puccinis Nessun dorma! and O mio babbino caro, to the power and might of Verdis Anvil Chorus and Wagners Ride of the Valkyries. Features some of the greatest opera singers of the last 50 years, including Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland, Jussi Bjorling, Kiri Te Kanawa, Placido Domingo and Renata Tebaldi.