2019 January 23

OPERA NEWS critics reviewed 228 CDs and DVDs last year, covering everything from repertory warhorses to quasiclassical indie-rock albums. These are the twenty-five you need to hear.


1.  VERDI: Rigoletto
CD (Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, Orbelian. Delos)
“On Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s final recording, he tackles the most monumental Verdi assignment of all—and magnificently succeeds.” —Fred Cohn

2.  BERLIOZ: Les Troyens
CD (Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Nelson. Warner Classics)
“Under conductor John Nelson, the work unfolds naturally, inevitably, as if unmediated. His singers are worthy partners.” —Fred Cohn

3.  DEBUSSY:  Pelléas et Mélisande
CD (London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, Rattle. LSO Live)
“Conductor Simon Rattle brings immediacy and dramatic vigor. Gerald Finley, as Golaud, is formidable.” —David J. Baker

4.  PUCCINI:  Il Tabarro
CD (Orf Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, de Billy. Capriccio)
“Under Bertrand de Billy, this Tabarro is musically shattering. The singing is quite distinguished as well.” —Henson Keys

5. MONTEVERDI: Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria
DVD (Le Concert d’Astrée, Haïm. Erato)
“I’ve never seen this opera executed with greater dedication. Conductor Emmanuelle Haïm gives the music admirable spirit and forward motion.” —Roger Pines

6. DONIZETTI:  Lucia di Lammermoor
DVD (Royal Opera Orchestra, Oren. Warner Classics)
“Katie Mitchell’s production is a fitting Lucia di Lammermoor for our time.” —Mark Mandel

7.  DEL TREDICI:  Child Alice
CD (Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Rose. BMOP/sound)
“A grand symphonic behemoth. This first complete recording revels in the orgiastic overabundance of the Mahlerian sonorities.” —Joe Cadagin

8.   RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: The Tale of Tsar Saltan
DVD (Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus, Gergiev. Mariinsky)
“Delightful. A superb cast brings humanity and artistry. Valery Gergiev makes the score shimmer.” —Steven Jude Tietjen

9.  TCHAIKOVSKY: Pique Dame
DVD (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Jansons. C Major)
“All Stefan Herheim’s directorial choices here are bold but also strongly executed. As riveting as it is thought-provoking.” —Steven Jude Tietjen

10. MUSGRAVE: Mary, Queen of Scots
CD (Virginia Opera Orchestra, Mark. Lyrita)
“A thrilling score with evocative, atmospheric orchestrations.” —Joanne Sydney Lessner


Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra

Tickets are available

Kaunas State Philharmonic

E. Ožeškienės st. 12, Kaunas
Open: II – VII 14.00 – 18.00
8 (37) 20 04 78


Online tickets are available at kakava.lt
Every concert page is linked with
the online ticket.