Soloists with Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus.
This 2011 Covent Garden production of Tosca
three splendid singers, with Angela Gheorghiu sensitively in
the title role, Jonas Kaufmann the intense republican Mario
Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel as malevolent lustful police chief
Scarpia. All three can act as well as sing - Terfel's role
shows darkest menace. Antonio Pappano conducts and Jonathan
Kent is stage director in this traditional production of the
popular classic opera. Set and costumes are in period and
filming excellent, including Tosca's dive over the castle
parapet. As usual with DVDs the accompanying booklet is flimsy
with no libretto or translation. Pappano provides a bonus video
feature, however. Gheorghiu delights in Act 2 with her soprano
artistry in Vissi D'Arte
Highlight: Kaufmann's big tenor aria O Dolci Mani
> Sound the Trumpet.
Alison Balsom (trumpet), The English Concert.
After six distinctive solo albums by this outstanding
British musician, it is no surprise to find her exploring the
world of Baroque London, where trumpeters were stars. It
features works for royal chapel, concert hall and theatre by
the two notable local composers: Handel and Purcell. Getting
the sound to gleaming perfection, Balsom uses natural trumpets
(without valves) and Trevor Pinnock on harpsichord directs the
accompanying baroque chamber group. Jestyn Davies
(countertenor) blends well in the title piece and another song
by Handel, and Lucy Crowe (soprano) in The Plaint
Purcell's The Fairy Queen, which also provides a Suite of
Musicks and Dances
. Other items include Purcell's King
, Handel's Water Piece
of his Oboe Concerto No.1
Highlight: Handel's clarion title tune.