Mike Parr

Rossini: Le Siège de Corinthe (C Major)

A fine cast of singers are thrown out to sea by a pointless, dismal production [MP]

Wagner: Lohengrin (RCA)

There is much to savour in this 59 year-old set [MP]

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Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart (Naxos)

The singing is especially good from some impressive young singers but the staging… [MP]

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Donizetti: Maria de Rudenz (Warner Fonit)

Coarse at times, but often exciting, as one would expect a bleeding nun to be [MP]

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Mozart: Così fan tutte (Deutsche Grammophon)

Despite cuts and a less than perfect ensemble, the sense of being a part of an exciting occasion is boldly realized here [MP]

Le Berger Innocent – recital (Ricercar)

This fills a gap in the musical repertoire of the French Rococo [MP]

Mademoiselle Duval: Les Génies (Château de Versailles Spectacles)

A Baroque opera rarity is one of CVS’s happiest releases of recent years [MP]

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R Strauss: Intermezzo (Warner Classics)

The only studio recording of Strauss’s biographical opera is a complete winner on all front [MP]

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Janáček: Káťa Kabanová (LSO Live)

A good cast and excellent sound are featured on Rattle’s challenge to the Mackerras hegemony [MP]

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Massenet: Le Cid (Sony Classical)

This version of Massenet’s opera is somewhat marred by the coarse recording, but there are a few thrills to be encountered nonetheless [MP]

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Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Warner Classics)

Beautiful sonorities throughout but the conductor’s approach is an emotional letdown and hampers the stellar cast [MP]

Stravinsky: The Nightingale (Sony Classical)

Stravinsky’s own recording is a flawed yet pleasurable account of this little opera [MP]

J Strauss II Der Zigeunerbaron Philharmonia Ackermann EMI 5675352

J Strauss II: Der Zigeunerbaron (EMI Classics)

Johann Strauss’ Hungarian operetta truly sparkles in a performance that commands the field in spite of its age [MP]

Wagner: Die Feen (Orfeo)

A very fine cast and excellent sound makes this a decent version of Wagner’s difficult first opera [MP]

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Weber: Oberon (RCA)

Weber’s magical score is lovingly presented on this fine set [MP]

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Bertin: Fausto (Bru Zane)

A long-lost operatic curiosity. Well-performed but recorded harshly, with no sense of stage atmosphere [MP]

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Rameau: Platée (Bel Air Classiques)

Laurent Pelly’s production has matured with age and Brownlee gives the performance of his career in the title role [MP]

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Puccini: Il trittico (Decca)

Not a first choice recording but worth spending some time with for a few excellent individual contributions [MP]

Leoni: L’Oracolo (Decca)

Worth getting to know even in a less than successful recording [MP]

Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia (C Major)

Vocal riches in a depressingly hyperactive production that is devoid of amusement [MP]

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Weber: Der Freischütz (Deutsche Grammophon)

One might go hunting for a more complete version of this opera, but this one does the trick in most respects [MP]

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Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel (RCA)

Christa Ludwig’s amazing Witch is the crowning achievement of this still essential recording [MP]

Puccini: La bohème (Warner Classics)

This old recording still has plenty of rewards to offer [MP]

Verdi: Nabucco (Deutsche Grammophon)

Sinopoli and a powerhouse cast reveal unsuspected depths in Verdi’s early opera [MP]