Contemporary British Opera Classics

Release Date: 6/30/2015
Label: Opus Arte
Catalog Number: OA 1189BD
Number of Discs: 4

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
(4-DVD Box Set)

Harrison Birtwistle

The Minotaur - John Tomlinson
Theseus - Johan Reuter
Ariadne - Christine Rice
Snake Priestess - Andrew Watts
Hiereus - Philip Langridge
Ker - Amanda Echalaz

Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra
(chorus master: Renato Balsadonna)
Antonio Pappano, conductor

Stephen Langridge, stage director
Alison Chitty, set and costume designer
Paul Pyant, lighting designer
Philippe Giraudeau, choreographer

- Documentary: Myth is Universal
- Illustrated synopsis and cast gallery

George Benjamin

The Protector - Christopher Purves
Agnès - Barbara Hannigan
Angel 1 / The Boy - Bejun Mehta
Angel 2 / Marie - Victoria Simmonds
Angel 3 / John - Allan Clayton

Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra
George Benjamin, conductor
Katie Mitchell, stage director
Vicki Mortimer, set and costume designer
John Clark, lighting designer

- Interview with George Benjamin
- Introduction to Written on Skin
- Cast gallery

Mark-Anthony Turnage

Anna Nicole - Eva-Maria Westbroek
Old Man Marshall - Alan Oke
The Lawyer Stern - Gerald Finley
Virgie - Susan Bickley
Cousin Shelley - Loré Lixenberg
Larry King - Peter Hoare
Aunt Kay - Rebecca de Pont Davies
Older Daniel - Dominic Rowntree
Blossom - Allison Cook
Doctor - Andrew Rees
Billy - Grant Doyle
Mayor - Wynne Evans

Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra
(chorus master: Renato Balsadonna)
Antonio Pappano, conductor

Richard Jones, stage director
Miriam Buether, set designer
Nicky Gillibrand, costume designer
Mimi Jordan Sherin and D.M. Wood, lighting designer
Aletta Collins, choreographer

- Cast gallery
- Production insights

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 25, 30 April and 3 May 2008 (The Minotaur), March 2013 (Written On Skin), 23 and 26 February 2011 (Anna Nicole)

Picture format: NTSC 16:9 anamorphic
Sound format: LPCM 2.0 / DTS 5.1
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Subtitles: English, French, German (all) / + Spanish (The Minotaur, Anna Nicole) / + Italian (The Minotaur) / + Japanese (Written On Skin)
Running time: 4 hrs 25 mins
No. of DVDs: 4 (DVD 9)

R E V I E W:

"This is quite a mixed collection, even if it is unclear whether or not it provides a representative sample of what currently counts for “contemporary opera” in Britain, or even in Covent Garden. What is most striking is the contrast between two operas, each of which takes its own approach to the stuff of “classic” mythology, and the third, which is basically a no-holds-barred vulgar reflection on the myth of the American dream. The result is considerable diversity in style in which each approach is still supported by a bedrock of solid performance technique.

Visually, the Minotaur character definitely draws the most attention. Tomlinson brings just the right rhetoric to the creature’s voice, both bold and pained at the same time... Written on Skin on the other hand amounts to a myth concerned with the relationship between mortals and a higher plane of angels. In many respects the “central character” of the opera is the ingenious set designed by Vicki Mortimer, which is a two-dimensional grid of compartmentalized boxy rooms. There are the rooms inhabited by the angels and the rooms inhabited by the mortals, and then there are the boundaries that are crossed. The crossing of those boundaries brings about an erotic encounter with catastrophic consequences, all of which makes the viewing experience as compelling as the auditory."

-- National Examiner [10/2015]

Works on This Recording
1. Anna Nicole by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Performer: Loré Lixenberg (Mezzo Soprano), Peter Hoare (Tenor), Andrew Rees (Tenor), Wynne Evans (Tenor), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Soprano), Alan Oke (Baritone), Dominic Rowntree (Baritone), Grant Doyle (Baritone), Gerald Finley (Baritone), Allison Cook (Mezzo Soprano), Rebecca De Pont Davies (Mezzo Soprano), Susan Bickley (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
2. Written on Skin, opera in 3 parts by George Benjamin
Performer: Christopher Purves (Bass), Allan Clayton (Tenor), Barbara Hannigan (Soprano), Victoria Simmonds (Alto), Bejun Mehta (Countertenor)
Conductor: George Benjamin
Period: Contemporary
3. The Minotaur by Harrison Birtwistle
Performer: Andrew [bass] Watts (Bass), John Tomlinson (Bass), Philip Langridge (Tenor), Christine Rice (Soprano), Amanda Echalaz (Soprano), Johan Reuter (Baritone)
Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Period: 20th Century
Customer Reviews