Ivan Repušic made his debut as Chief Conductor of the Münchner Rundfunkorchester on September 24, 2017 at the city’s Prinzregententheater with a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Luisa Miller". The Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka – the orchestra’s Artist in Residence during the 2017/18 season – was successfully engaged for the title role of the tragic opera, based on Friedrich Schiller's "Kabale und Liebe". This highlight of the Munich music scene has now been released by BR-KLASSIK. Verdi's masterpiece was written during the year 1849 in Paris and Busseto, completed in Naples, and first performed there on December 8, 1849 at the city's Teatro San Carlo. Schiller's tragedy tells the story of the calamitous love of the nobleman Ferdinand for the musician's daughter Luisa Miller, who falls victim to a terrible court intrigue that ultimately drives both to their deaths. To turn the play into an opera Verdi worked intensively with his librettist Salvadore Cammarano; both men were fascinated by Schiller's tableau-like dramaturgy, which matched their own ideas of an "epic drama". The tragedy was given three acts, entitled "Amore" (Love), "Intrigo" (Intrigue) and "Veleno" (Poison). After its successful premiere, the work soon established itself and has remained a fixed part of the international opera repertoire to this day. In this concert performance at Munich’s Prinzregententheater, Marina Rebeka made her role debut as Luisa Miller. Marina Rebeka sings the challenging role with technical perfection, giving it a sparkling vocal splendor.
This recording can’t quite oust my personal favourite recording, Fausto Cleva’s RCA set with Moffo and Bergonzi, but Marina Rebeka is a much more dramatic Luisa and the recording is worth hearing for her contribution alone—and there is so much more to admire. Inveterate Verdians should definitely lend their ears to this latest Luisa Miller, and those contemplating their first recording of this hidden away masterpiece could do much worse than starting here.
– MusicWeb International