• Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a masterwork of 19th Century literature; a parable on the struggle for personal freedom against the conventions of a hostile society, played out in a tragic love-story. With a libretto by the distinguished director Colin Graham after the novel by Leo Tolstoy, David Carlson's opera vividly captures the drama and message of the original work. This double-disc set is a world premiere recording of the opera, with commanding performances from members of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stewart Robertson.

  • An unforgettable live-concert recording, selected from the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s season of works by Béla Bartók – ‘Infernal Dance’.
     
    Sir John Tomlinson Bluebeard
    Michelle DeYoung Judith
    Juliet Stevenson Narrator
    Philharmonia Orchestra
    Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor
     
    Reviews of the concert from which this recording was taken:
    “John Tomlinson and Michelle DeYoung were vocally so commanding as to render “choreography” entirely superfluous. Tomlinson’s cavernous voice seemed to embody the very interior world of his castle - its sadness, darkness, emptiness - his Hungarian so vivid and expressive in itself that it became another sonority in Barto?k’s aural palette. He was quite extraordinary. Musically stunning ...” The Arts Desk
     
    “The part of Judith was well taken by Michelle DeYoung but it was the portrayal of Tomlinson that stole the show. At first predatory and prowling - no one can prowl like John Tomlinson - he visibly collapsed into himself as his secrets were exposed. And never was that magnificently gnarled tone put to better use.” The Evening Standard
     
  • 2CD SET
     
    Britten’s powerful and masterful evocation of the North Sea in all its moods has to audiences all over the world become inextricably linked with the Aldeburgh that was home to George Crabbe (author of the ‘The Borough’ from which the story originates) in the eighteenth century and Britten in the twentieth.

    Steuart Bedford leads a vast and accomplished ensemble on this new live recording, created shortly before the group’s unique staging of the work on the beach at Aldeburgh as part of the town’s world-renowned festival.

    (Physical product booklet includes the full libretto to the opera, however this not available in the linked booklet below for copyright reasons.)

     

  • For You

    £18.00

    For You is a new opera that brings together the music of composer and BBC Radio 3 presenter Michael Berkeley and Booker-prize winning author Ian McEwan. This gripping tale of love, lust and obsession centers on the composer and prodigious womanizer Charles Frieth (Alan Opie), and the tragic consequences that his selfish actions cause him and those around.

    Although essentially dark, there are moments of irony, wit, and humour throughout the opera. Soaring vocal lines, intricate ensemble pieces, and imaginative instrumental writing make this an electrifying work. Masterly performed by Music Theatre Wales, directed by Michael Rafferty.

    The Opera has had great success from its initial performances in Wales and the Royal Opera House provoking great reviews.

    For You is a dark opera worth waiting for.”The Evening Standard

    “... a dazzling and taut chamber piece which gives passionate way to Bergian lyricism while referencing both Britten and Richard Strauss in its airy, word-driven vocal lines.” The Independent

  • Grabmusik / Bastien und Bastienne

    £12.00 Available September 14, 2018.
    Continuing their complete Mozart opera recording cycle, The Mozartists’ latest release shines a light on two early opera works by Mozart. Grabmusik was reported to be the product of a test set by the prince of Salzburg, who: “... not crediting that such masterly compositions were really those of a child, shut him up for a week, during which he was not permitted to see any one, and was left only with music paper, and the words of an oratorio ... During this short time he composed a very capital oratorio, which was most highly approved of upon being performed.” Performed for Holy Week the title can be translated as ‘Cantata on Christ’s Grave’ (literally ‘Grave Music’), and the anonymous text takes the form of a dialogue between a tormented soul, who is desperately lamenting the tragedy of Christ’s death, and an angel. Bastien und Bastienne is the only one of Mozart’s operas to have been written for performance in a private house rather than a theatre. Commissioned at some point in mid-1768 by the renowned and controversial German physician Franz Anton Mesmer, it tells the tale of two young shepherds, Bastien and Bastienne, being reconciled in love by the fortune teller and magician Colas after Bastien has briefly been lured away by the attractions of a noble lady from the city. This new recording uses Mozart’s original 1768 setting of the libretto by F. W. Weiskern & J. H. F. Müller, the provenance of which was only established in the 1980s.
  • London Early Opera perform a unique programme of Handel’s Italian-inspired works, devised by conductor Bridget Cunningham and featuring a unique family collaboration from from world-renowned soprano sisters Sophie Bevan and Mary Bevan alongside their uncle, bass Benjamin Bevan.

    Praise for the series: 4*, 5* ‘if all six [discs] are put together with the same care as these two, and directed with the same verve and vigour, this will be a series well worth collecting’ - Early Music Today


    Read an interview with London Early Opera conductor and musicologist Bridget Cunningham at Presto Classical!

     


     

     

  • Classical Opera continue their continuing complete Mozart opera recording series with the one-act dramatic serenade Il sogno di Scipione, K. 126. Composed in 1771 as a celebratory homage to Prince Archbishop Sigismund Schrattenbach of Salzburg, the Archbishop died before the piece could be performed. In the spring of 1772 Mozart amended the work so that it could be used in honour of Schrattenbach’s successor, Hieronymus Colloredo – the only necessary change was to alter the name of the dedicatee in the nal recitative. The story of Scipio’s Dream takes place in c.148 BC, while the celebrated Roman general is a guest in the palace of his ally Massinissa, King of Numidia (in modern day Tunisia). As Scipio falls into a deep sleep, he dreams that the allegorical figures of Fortuna (Fortune) and Costanza (Constancy) appear to him in Elysium and demand that he should choose one of them to follow for the rest of his days.
  • Rising star-soprano Elena Xanthoudakis is joined by the Royal Northern Sinfonia under Richard Bonynge in these exhilarating performances of some true Jewels of the Bel Canto aria tradition by Bellini, Verdi, Rossini and Donizetti.

  • The prodigious Norwegian treble Aksel Rykkvin returns to disc on Signum with a new disc of Baroque works, accompanying the MIN Ensemble under trumpeter Mark Bennett and the ensemble director Lazar Miletic. Featuring both instrumental pieces and excerpts from operas and oratorios by Handel, Rameau, Albinoni and Rittler, this disc further documents Aksel’s unique talent as a performer and interpreter of Baroque music. "A thoroughly enjoyable collection and those that appreciate Baroque music will be thrilled by what is on offer" - Cross Rhythms "Light Divine further documents Aksel’s unique talent as a performer and interpreter of Baroque music. A must." - Northern Echo "Rykvin's polished technique and confident musical personality yield a lovely account of Télaire's lament" Gramophone
  • Classical Opera continue their series of Mozart Operas on Signum with Mozart’s Mitridate, re di Ponto, K. 87 (74a). As well as the complete opera, this 4CD digipak release includes a bonus disc featuring the original versions of a number of arias from the opera that Mozart subsequently changed in the final version.

    MITRIDATE King of Pontus BARRY BANKS tenor

    ASPASIA betrothed to Mitridate MIAH PERSSON soprano

    SIFARE Mitridate’s younger son SOPHIE BEVAN soprano

    FARNACE Mitridate’s elder son LAWRENCE ZAZZO countertenor

    ISMENE daughter of the King of Parthia KLARA EK soprano

    MARZIO a Roman tribune ROBERT MURRAY tenor

    ARBATE governor of Nymphaea ANNA DEVIN soprano

  • Classical Opera continue their recording cycle of the complete operas of Mozart with Il Re Pastore – a youthful work that shines with the richness of its orchestration, its inexhaustible melodic inspiration and its dazzlingly ingenious score.

  • The Mozartists present an unprecedented survey of Mozart’s childhood stay in London from 1764-65. The wide-ranging programme includes Mozart’s remarkable first symphony (composed when he was eight years old), along with his two other London symphonies and his first concert aria. The repertoire also explores music that was being performed in London during Mozart’s stay, including works by J. C. Bach, Thomas Arne, Abel, Pescetti, Perez, George Rush and William Bates, many of which have not previously been recorded. The album features an outstanding line-up of soloists comprising sopranos Ana Maria Labin, Anna Devin, Rebecca Bottone, Martene Grimson and Eleanor Dennis, mezzo- soprano Helen Sherman, tenors Ben Johnson and Robert Murray and harpsichordist Steven Devine. The album was recorded live during a weekend of performances at London’s Milton Court in February 2015 as part of the opening season of MOZART 250, and includes over a dozen world premiere recordings. This ingenious “musical exploration of Mozart’s childhood visit to London” interweaves three early symphonies and the concert aria K21 with music performed in the city during the family’s stay. - The Sunday Times Vigorous vocal music by Thomas Arne, a dazzling harpsichord concerto from JC Bach, and a Carl Friedrich Abel symphony as tastily rich as a chocolate éclair - The Times Ian Page with his handpicked orchestra of around 20 players, is a dab hand at this sort of stuff. - Classic FM “Page draws lively and engaging performances from his orchestra, and the results certainly charm, whilst the programming ensures that there is much of interest as it illuminates musical life in 1760s London so wonderfully” - Planet Hugill “As ever, Page draws lively and engaging performances from his orchestra, and the results certainly charm” - The Epoch Times
  • A fascinating musical journey through the Italian arias of Mozart, from one of his earliest works Lucio Silla (composed when he was just 16) through to his final Italian opera La Clemenza di Tito.

    The English tenor Jeremy Ovenden has established himself as being among the best Mozart tenors of his generation (notably in the role of Don Ottavio) and has become a familiar figure on the stages of the world's opera houses and concert halls and at major festivals. He is joined for this, his first solo recording, by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conductor Jonathan Cohen.

    A recent performance review by ‘The Opera Critic’ described Jeremy as being “… an intelligent… highly competent singer… his line, power and coloratura were all excellent…” 

  • The first release in a new partnership between Classical Opera and Signum Records begins with Mozart’s remarkable sacred singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, composed when he was just eleven. The music is full of tender beauty, dynamism and descriptive flair, and the young composer’s innate sense of understanding and sympathy for the human condition already shines through.

    The story follows the efforts of The Spirit of Christianity (Andrew Kennedy) – aided by Divine Justice (Cora Burggraaf ) and Divine Mercy (Sarah Fox) – to win back the heart of a Lapsed Christian (Allan Clayton) as he lies fast asleep. In opposition to this however stands The Spirit of Worldliness (Sophie Bevan), who urges the Christian to forget what The Spirit shows him and to follow her pleasure-seeking philosophies. As Justice and Mercy withdraw to observe, The Spirit of Christianity seeks to win back the lapsed Christian, but will this lost soul be able to resist the temptations of indulgence and short-term satisfaction that Worldliness offers?

    The second disc in this 2CD Set is an Enhanced CD, with an exclusive 10-minute feature on the making of the recording additional libretto and programme note translations. Full German to English translations included in the booklet.

  •  The third DVD to be released between the collaborative foce of Signum Vision and Tony Britten.

    Puccini's original masterpiece has been brought up to date in this moving English speaking version filmed in South East London.
     
     
    DVD Region 0 - PAL Format
    Running time - 93 mins
     
  •  Purcell’s ever-green chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, its story drawn from Virgil’s epic, the Aeneid, is performed by the Armonico Consort with an astounding selection of soloists.

    Armonico Consort is one of the largest and most innovative organisations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programmes.