In spring 2011, the first-ever performances at New York's Metropolitan Opera of Rossini's Le Comte Ory brought standing ovations and critical-acclaim. The spectacular trio of Juan Diego Florez, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato ignited vocal and theatrical fireworks. Le Comte Ory tells the story of a libidinous and cunning nobleman who disguises himself first as a hermit and then as a nun ("Sister Colette") in order to gain access to the virtuous Countess Adele, whose brother is away at the Crusades. The 2011 Met production was directed by the Tony Award-winning Broadway director Bartlett Sher, who in recent years has also staged Il barbiere di Siviglia and Les Contes d'Hoffman for the Met. Sher presented the action as an opera within an opera, updated the action by a few centuries and giving the costume designer, Catherine Zuber, the opportunity to create some particularly extravagant headgear. Juan Diego Florez starred as the title role while Diana Damrau plays his love interest, Countess Adele, and Joyce DiDonato was in breeches as his pageboy Isolier. The trio had appeared in Sher's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Juan Diego Flórez stars in the only available DVD version of Zelmira, filmed at the celebrated Rossini Festival in the composer s home town of Pesaro.
The final opera Rossini wrote for Naples is a dramatic and musical tour de force and a magnificent showcase for the bel canto superstar of our time.
Recorded in high definition at the 2009 Festival, Giorgio Barberio Corsettis production places the classical tale, set during the Trojan Wars, in modern times and modern dress.(Opera Today)
This DVD is in fact the "break a leg" version which sees Joyce DiDonato perform her role in a wheelchair - a story which has occupied international headlines last year - and definitely a DVD which will stand out. The DVD will include bonus features like an interview with Joyce on her stage accident and subsequent wheelchair performances… (Opera News)
Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment aims to please and it succeeds, with its catchy tunes, wildly difficult showpieces for the principles, and a simple, if also simplistic, narrative line. This 2005 live performance at Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice features virtuoso singing by tenor Juan Diego Flórez as Tonio and soprano Patrizia Ciofi, as Marie, the "daughter" of the soldiers who have adopted her. Tonio's big Act I scene and aria, "Ah! mes amis," was a famous showpiece for Pavarotti and Flórez is in that league, nailing the aria's nine high Cs with an ease mere mortals reserve just for breathing. This is knock-'em-dead singing and the audience demands (and gets) an encore. Ciofi's Marie is well acted and sung with lyric beauty and coloratura fireworks… –Dan Davis
Opera never has shown its contrasts more than in this Rigoletto from the Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden. The production is full of harsh conflicts, which Verdi himself implies by filling this tragedy with so much cheery music. All of the performances here are outstanding. Željko Lučić vanquishes the title role with his powerful voice and emotive acting, which makes him riveting if slightly painful to watch as he is emotionally destroyed.::–Rob McGinness, ClassicsToday.com
Tenor superstar Juan Diego Flórez adds the role of Prince Ramiro in Rossini’s sparkling comedy La Cenerentola to his rapidly growing catalog of performances on Decca. In Joan Font’s strikingly colorful, toy-town staging, he is joined by one of today’s great Cinderellas, the American mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato. The two have wowed audiences with their virtuoso performances in the Metropolitan Opera’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia which was broadcast live in HD to movie theaters and on PBS.
Bel Canto Spectacular, a recital featuring tenor Juan Diego Flórez, delivers exactly what it promises: a spectacular release of vocal showpieces by one of the rising superstars of the early 21st century, singing scenes and arias by the great bel canto composers, Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Flórez's voice is not particularly large, but he has a terrific, agile technique, a warmly enveloping tone, and a dramatic flair for fully inhabiting these operatic characters. He also has a sure grasp on the stylistic conventions of this repertoire and knows how to exploit them without going overboard. The album opens with "Amici mei," from La figlia del reggimento, an aria that helped secure his reputation because of his confident delivery of its multiple high Cs. He is equally impressive in the more lyrical selections, such as "Una furtive lagrima," to which he brings an especially sweet, limpid tone. Flórez is joined in some of the scenes by artists of the caliber of Plácido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, and Mariusz Kwiecien; mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona is not quite in their league in a rare but delightful duet from Il viaggio a Reims. Domingo is featured on a bonus track, the duet, "Ah, vieni, nel tuo sangui," from Otello. Daniel Oren leads Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana in sensitive accompaniment. Decca's sound is clean and present with good balance. (Stephen Eddins)
This DVD version of Donizetti’s comic opera zooms right to the top of any list of essential videos for opera fans. It may not be the composer’s best work, but given a top-notch production with world class singing actors, it brings vocal thrills and an abundance of laughs, a combination that’s hard to beat. The stars are Juan Diego Flórez and Natalie Dessay, both unbeatable in bel canto roles, and both in top form here. Flórez’s mellifluous tenor is flexible enough to make child's play of the terrifying (to other tenors) nine high C’s in Ah! mes amis," and supple enough to make his tender love arias moving…