The Metropolitan Opera give this live performance of Rossini's work based on the poem by Sir Walter Scott. Michele Mariotti conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus with Joyce DiDonato as Elena, the lady of the lake, who loves the heroic Malcolm (Daniela Barcellona). However, King James V (Juan Diego Flórez) arrives in the Highlands and sets his sights on Elena while her father Douglas (Oren Gradus), who is rebelling against the King's rule, promises his daughter to clan chief Rodrigo (John Osborn).
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)
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
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.
Giovanni Battista Rubini (1794-1854) was the leading Italian tenor of his generation, during the time Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini were creating some of their greatest works, and all the selections on this album are from operas that were either written especially for him, or in which he performed. Rubini, who was hailed as "king of the tenors," worked most closely with Bellini, who wrote some of his greatest and most demanding tenor roles with his voice in mind. One of the strengths of Juan Diego Flórez's tribute to Rubini is the fact that he largely chooses excerpts from less familiar repertoire over the more famous and frequently performed operas. (Fans hoping for the high F in I Puritani's "Credeasi, misera," for instance, will have to look elsewhere.) In these selections, though, there are plenty of vocal fireworks on display, so the album is not likely to disappoint fans of coloratura bel canto. This early nineteenth century Italian repertoire suits Flórez's voice perfectly, so it makes good sense for him to pay tribute to Rubini's career.
In this high-definition film of Bellini's historical bel canto drama, "I Puritani", tenor superstar Juan Diego Flórez is partnered by new young Georgian soprano Nino Machaidze, in her first appearance on a Decca DVD. Joining them in a striking new staging by Pier'Alli at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna is celebrated bass baritone, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (DG).
Cecilia Bartoli continues her Maria Malibran homage with one of the historic mezzo’s most famous roles. The two leading bel canto super stars of today, Cecilia Bartoli and Juan Diego Florez join forces for the first time in the most complete and authentic recording of Bellini's La sonnambula. He is all vocal fireworks and liquid tone, she luxurious of voice, dramatically intense. It is the first ever recording with a 'mezzo-soprano' in the lead role, and the first ever recording with a period instrument orchestra… Many of the cadenzas sung by Cecilia Bartoli are those used by the great 19th Century interpreter of the role, Maria Malibran.
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)