Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra / Eugene Onegin /The Rake's Progress

TCHAIKOVSKY: Eugene Onegin
Mariusz Kwiecem (Onegin). Tatiana Monogarpva (Tatiana). Margarita Mamsirpva (Olga). Andrey Dunaev (Lensky). Anatolij Kotscherga (Prince Gremin). Chorus and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater /Alexander Verdenikov, cond.
BEL AIR CLASSICS DVD TT: 150 min.+ 26 min. bonus

STRAVINSKY: The Rake's Progress
William Morgan (Tom Rakewell). Aphrodite Patouliaou (AnneTruelove). John Taylor Ward (Nick Shadow). Kate Howden (*Baba the Turk). Erik Rosenius (Father Truelove / Mother Goose). Ziad Nehme (Sellem). Gothenberg Symphony Vocal Ensemle and Orchestra / Barbara Hannigan, cond.
ACCENTUS DVD ACC20420 TT: 149:50

Music of Johann Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Eduard Strauss I, and Josef Strauss.
Vienna Johann Strauss Orchestra / Johannes Wildner, cond.
C MAJOR DVD TT: 87 min.

There are many videos of Eugene Onegin including the 2013 Met performance featuring Anna Netrebko as Tatiana. There also is an earlier Met video that features Renée Fleming. Both of those are superb, but this new one has much to offer. It is a Bolshoi Opera production presented in Paris in September 2008. The simple set features a large table in a salon. It was designed by Dmitri Tchernikov and costumes were by Maria Danilova. The cast, listed above, is magnificent. You will not find another performance of this caliber, and of particular interest is soprano Tatiana Monogarova who is the perfect heroine, one of the finest interpretations I've heard of the famous Letter Scene. Also included is a 26-minute behind the scenes documentary of this Bolshoi Opera Pris production. Video and audio are also outstanding. This is a major addition to the DVD operatic catalog.

Stravinsky's opera The Rake's Progress is given a spectacular performance on this new video taken from performances in 2018. . Canadian soprano/conductor Barbara Hannigan (b. 1971) has enjoyed a remarkable career as a soprano, specializing in contemporary music; she has sung world premieres of dozens of contemporary works and some have been recorded. She here leads the Gothenburg Symphony in a dynamic interpretation of this intricate score. Hannigan has sung the role of Anne Truelove many times; here Hannigan accompanies Apgrodite Patoulodou in that role. This performance features singers mostly new to their roles, and all are superb. This is a semi-staged production directed by Linus Fellborn with costumes by Anna Ardelius. The performance is given in front of the orchestra with minimal props, and it works well.This release also includes Taking Risks. a documentary by Maria Stodtmeier about the career of Hannigan and the production this production of Stravinsky's remarkable performance. This is a outstanding release.

There are countless videos available of Viennese New Year's Eve concerts, and many others as well. This one with conductor Johannes Wildner, was recorded live in Vienna's Muysikversin. This is the usual selection of works by the Strauss family, and the only distinction is the world premiere recording of Josef Strauss's orchestral fantasy Heart's Sorrow. Unusual is that fact that the program does not end with the ever-present favorite Radetzky March. Excellent video and audio. The program seems rather short

R.E.B. (May 2020)