Opus Arte presents outstanding television archive recordings of performances from the Teatro alla Scala beautifully packaged as a high quality box set, each title complete with an informative booklet.
The La Scala Collection brings together works from some of the best loved composers. Donizetti, Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Verdi and Pergolesi. Renowned conductors Riccardo Muti, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Lorin Maazel and Stefano Ranzani lead the Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala in these magnificent productions. These splendid performances feature some of the most famous opera singers in the world including Thomas Allen, Placido Domingo, Renato Bruson, Daniela Dessi, Alessandro Corbelli, Giorgio Zancanaro, Chris Merritt, Cheryl Studer and Sara Mingardo. A collection no opera lover should be without. The titles are:
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Riccardo Muti conducts a great cast, with Thomas Allen in the title role of the great seducer, in the 1987 La Scala recording of Mozart and Da Ponte's tale of lust and subversion.
Rossini: Guglielmo Tell
Riccardo Muti conducts a fine cast led by Giorgio Zancanaro in the title role of Rossini's towering and opulent last opera with the Corps de Ballet, Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro alla Scala.
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
Donizetti's great tragedy is his undisputed masterpiece of melancholic romanticism, with the doomed love between Lucia and Edgardo retold from Scott's novel The Bride of Lammermoor. The 1992 production heightens the story's powerful libretto with its dramatic visual design and first class musical performances.
Puccini: La Fanciulla del West
Lorin Maazel conducts this cast in Jonathan Miller's 1991 production of the compelling and evocative opera, which Puccini himself considered his best work.
Pergolesi: Lo frate nnamorato
Rediscovered by conductor Riccardo Muti, this forgotten opera was filmed in the 1989 period production. A rare recording of Pergolesi's second opera.
Mozart: Cosi fan tutte
Daniela Dessì and Delores Ziegler lead the cast in Mozart's brilliant and witty opera as the two women whose faithfulness in the face of romantic love is ruthlessly tested in Da Ponte's comic tale. Mozart lavishes some of the finest music ever written on the unfolding story of the two sisters chaotic love affairs with their two Italian army officers.
Verdi: I due Foscari
Renato Bruson takes the role of the Venetian Doge Francesco Foscari in Verdi's dark, three act tragedy based on a drama by Lord Byron set in 15th century Venice, Gianandrea Gavazzeni directs the 1988 La Scala production of a work that is hailed among the best of Verdi's early operas, and that led him to a career of operatic immortality.
Rossini: La donna del lago
Director Werner Herzog and conductor Riccardo Muti combine with the finest of casts to lavish Rossini's rarely performed Neapolitan masterpiece, set in feudal sixteenth century Scotland, with the genius it deserves. June Anderson is an outstanding Elena (the Lady of the Lake) in the 1992 production of the melodrama based on Sir Walter Scott's poem.
Riccardo Muti conducts a fine cast in the powerful and atmospheric 1991 production of Verdi's ninth opera, whose story of the heroic tussle between Ezio, a Roman general, and Attila, the Nordic invader, was written for the 1846 Teatro la Fenice season and premiered there to huge acclaim.
Cilea: Adrianna Lecouvreur
Cilea's four act opera of jealousy and tangled love, first performed in Milan in 1902, is based on the true story of Adriana Lecouvreur, an 18th Century actress at the Comedie Française, whose rival for the love of Maurizio, Count of Saxony, is the married Principessa die Bouillon.
This was a wonderful set that I got from Amazon. When you break it down you are only paying around $6.50 per opera dvd. I love to go to the opera just like any other opera fan, but you can pay anywhere from $40 to $80 for one viewing. For $70 you can watch these over and over again and enjoy them just as you would if you saw them live in the theatre.