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Bizet, Massenet, Gounod, Mozart, Donizetti etc
Arias and Duets

Gala Concert on the stage of the Royal Opera House 12th December 1996

Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Susan Graham, Robert Lloyd, Leontina Vaduva, Plácido Domingo etc
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House/Asher Fisch & Plácido Domingo

[OpusArte OA R 3019 D: c.85 mins, no extras]

The ROH has bought Opus Arte so we can expect many Royal Opera House CDs from that source; q.v. Salome.

This filming, seen on TV at the time, conveys the undemanding party atmosphere of an evening of mainly well known arias and duets, with a sprinkling of small rarities by Grigoriu and de Curtis. Nothing challenging for the audience, aimed at the corporate entertainers? To end, Domingo took the baton for a careful Gold and Silver Waltz by Lehar.

Nothing to complain about, nor to send you rushing to the shops. About 85 minutes, with applause for each item and comings and goings between them. DVD presentation is basic - no notes; subtitles in English only.

I think that it used to be commonplace for operagoers to take boxes with their friends and enjoy eating, drinking (and a little talking?) during the shows - even cigar smoking, or is that my fancy? We took it in similar light and enjoyed it over lunch and, after a break, tea for the lighter items towards the end. Besides the "stars" of the evening, I enjoyed best Robert Lloyd as an urbane Miphistopheles, and Leontna Vaduva who brought real zest to Donizetti.

Peter Grahame Woolf