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Arrigo Boito: Mefistofele
By Babajanyan, Bauer, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Borghini, Calleja, Giannetti, Grotzinger, Listerdal, Opolais, Pape, Schwab, Vinciguerra, Wellber, Henry Mancini, Mills, and Wilson. By Arrigo Enrico Boito (1842-1918). Documentaries. BluRay (1 disc). Duration 140 minutes. Published by C Major Entertainment (NX.739304).
Item Number: NX.739304
Language: Italian; Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese.
Best-known today as the librettist of Verdi's final Shakespearean masterpieces, Otello and Falstaff, the multitalented Arrigo Boito was also a fine composer in his own right. Hugely ambitious in scope, and some 20 years in the making, his first (and only completed) opera, Mefistofele, sets out to encompass nothing less than the whole of Goethe's vast poetic drama Faust (parts I and II), and is considered the very central work of his phase between Verdi and Puccini. Making his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper, director Roland Schwab (a protege of the legendary Ruth Berghaus) plays devil's advocate by setting the opera in a nightmarish atmosphere. The exceptional cast features Rene Pape, Joseph Calleja, Kristine Opolais, and Karine Babajanyan. "[Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais's Margherita] shines with understated Grace Kelly elegance" (Opera Today). "Conductor Omer Meir Wellber "holds all the musical textures together with admirable control" (BR Klassik).