Also available on Blu-ray
This box set contains four exceptional and star-studded opera and operetta recordings from the Opernhaus Zürich: Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Berg’s Wozzeck, Massenet’s Werther, and Lehar’s Das Land des Lachelns. Philharmonia Zurich is the orchestra of Zurich Opera. As an independent body of 116 contract players, it has existed since 1985 under the name of Zurich Opera Orchestra. It was renamed in 2012 with the appointment of director Andreas Homoki and general music director Fabio Luisi. The Choir of the Zurich Opera House, with its 60 permanent members and the participation of up to 160 performances per season, forms an essential cornerstone of the artistic ensemble at the Zurich Opera House. Under the umbrella of the most traditional Swiss opera house, it unites singers on the highest professional level, whose musical and stylistic versatility is combined with the power of acting and spontaneity. On a regular basis, the members also prove their artistic format as soloists. The choir reflects the claim and the radiance of the Zurich Opera in its international composition, which have been proven by numerous DVD recordings and were awarded the “Opera Company of the Year” in 2014.
Excerpts of reviews of previously released volumes in this set:
This is a finely honed production that follows its premise to an absurdist conclusion with slick theatricality and dispassionate zeal. All sentimentalism is banished here. So, largely, is the opera’s plea for justice and compassion. It is left to Christian Gerhaher’s Wozzeck to fight that battle, which he does with formidable diction and great lyrical beauty, offering, where he can, a still centre in the tumult.
– Gramophone (DVD/Blu-ray of the Month, November 2016)
Director Tatjana Gürbaca and designer Klaus Grünberg have transformed Massenet’s masterpiece into a compelling drama that glues you to the edge of your seat from start to finish. Flórez gives the performance of his career as a hero who knows that death is where passion is fulfilled. Anna Stéphany’s Charlotte, by turns terrified, tender and tearful, is with him all the way.
–BBC Music Magazine