Arias from Glinka's Ruslyn and Lyudmila, Prokofiev's The
Fiery Angel and War and Peace, and Tchaikovsky's Queen
of Spades and
WEILL / IRA GERSHWIN: Lady in the Dark:
Named after Tchaikovsky’s famous aria “Kuda, kuda” from his opera Eugene Onegin, this collection of Russian opera arias abd scenes featues selections from Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, and Eugene Onegin. It is surprisingt there is no Mussorgsky. Each is introduced by the featured singer in Russian.No separate trafcks are provided for the introductions and performances.These are excerpted from complete recordings of the operas, some of which have been mentioned on this site: The Fiery Angel (REVIEW) and Rusan and Lyudmila (REVIEW). Recorded in the beautiful Mariinsky Theater, , this release is visually stunn ing (those Russian costumes are really something!), and audio quality is excellent.
José Carreras is celebrated in this welcome 3-disk set that contains reissues of many of his finest recordings. This site has praised many previous releases including the 1983 Turandot from the Vienna State Opera (REVIEW). Here we have the complete comeback concert recorded at the Vienna State Opera House September 16, 1988 as well as a special concert given in Moscow's Bolshoi TTheatre September 5, 1989 in which he is joined by his good friend Montserrat Caballé. Disk 3 is a live concert June 21, 1990 from the Delores Mission in San Francisco, featuring one of the tenor's most famous interpretations, Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramirez who plays the piano part. Also included are five Spanish works in which he is accompanied by pianist Lorenzo Bavaj. This is a simple production: three disks with separate jackets housed in a box with no program notes. Should you not have these performances, here they are at budget price. Considering the vintage, the regular DVD is as good as the Blu Ray.
With book by Moss Hart, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by Kurt Weill, Lady in the Dark holds a legendary place in American musical theater. The Lady in the Dark is Lisa Elliot, a highly successful editor of a fashion magazine, whose personal life is a shambles. She sees a psychiatrist, Dr. Brooks, and eventually realizes that she is in love with her agent, Charley. It premiered on Broadway in 1941. The original cast featured Gertrude Lawrence, Danny Kaye, and Victor Mature. There was a 1944 film starring Ginger Rodgers. This DVD offers a live telecast production from September 25, 1954. Ann Sothern has the title role with James Daley as Charley. It is an entertaining show filled with songs and dancing, a big-scale production before an audience, and went remarkably well. Actor Lee Bowman introduces the program, mentioning countless times that the telecast is sponsored by Oldsmobile. All rather quaint, in an historic way. It is a fine production and the black and white video has held up well. An important issue for musical theater buffs!
R.E.B. (September 2016)