[ Sony Classical Blu-ray / Blu-ray Disc ]
Release Date: Thursday 10 March 2016
Suitable for General Audiences
A celebrated new production of Puccini's La fanciulla del West from the Vienna State opera featuring Jonas Kaufmann and Nina Stemme. Staged by Marco Arturo Marelli, who sets it in a modern-day mining village, with the feel of a gritty modern drama, during the American gold rush of 1849. An unlikely setting for an Italian opera, but one that has a happy ending. It tells the tale of Minnie, the bartender in the saloon whom all the local men adore, and Dick Johnson alias Ramerrez, a notorious bandit. Dick and Minnie fall in love on first meeting, so much so that he vows to change his life as a bandit, sung by two contemporary great singers: Nina Stemme and Jonas Kaufmann. A new production from Marco Arturo Marelli brought one of Puccini's rarely performed works to the Vienna State Opera stage in September 2013. Jonas Kaufmann in his role debut as the wanted and notorious bandit Ramerrez proves ideally cast, full of power, with his breathtakingly beautiful baritone timbre. "Nina Stemme and Jonas Kaufmann are the opera's must-see couple for a generation… The rich playing of the Vienna orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst shows up the colour and detail of Puccini's score to spectacular effect" Financial Times.
"The star couple are on top form...In the theatre Stemme sounded one size larger vocally than Kaufmann but the tenor's burnished tone and romantic magnetism come across impressively on disc. Tomasz Konieczny does well not to be upstaged as a searingly forceful Jack Rance...The combined strengths of this performance make Son'y DVD a clear first choice among recent releases." (Gramophone)
'Their singing is magnificent' BBC Music Magazine - Opera Choice - March 2016