[ Decca Blu-Ray / Blu-ray Disc ]
Release Date: Friday 15 May 2015
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Renée Fleming's Desdemona enshrines one of her signature roles in a definitive performance: "she knows exactly how to spin the gentle lines of the 'Willow Song' and 'Ave Maria' so that they softly fill the hall" (New York Times). This 2012 performance was most likely her last on stage, making it a document of historic importance. As the New York Times wrote: "The role was one of her earliest successes with the company, as well as the vehicle for her first Met opening night 17 years ago, and it remains a lovely fit."
Verdi's late masterpiece is presented in Elijah Moshinsky's classic MET production with sumptuous sets and period costumes; one of the longest-running opera productions in MET history.
Semyon Bychkov conducts an all-star cast led by South African Heldentenor Johan Botha in the title role with a voice of "impressive size and bronze color" (New York Times).
A strong supporting cast includes the superb Falk Struckmann as Iago and star tenor Michael Fabiano as Cassio.
"The sound and her performance, vocally and as an actress, are outstanding and could not be better framed than in this traditionally costumed and staged production...Fleming's contribution to the love duet at the end of act one, her soaring voice over the drama in act three and her heart-rending singing of the "Willow Song" and "Ave Maria" in act four are the highlights...Michael Fabiano was, in figure and tone, an elegant Cassio and Renée Tatum a sympathetic and supportive Amelia." MusicWeb