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Ioan Holender

Farewell to Vienna Gala June 26, 2010

Deutsches grammophon 00440 073 4621
[2 DVDs, 225 mins]

Highly successful in the event, watched in Vienna's packed opera house, on large screens outside and on TV, this was a gala to cap all opera galas.

With highlights from artistic director Ioan Holender's 19-year reign, it transfers to DVD very successfully, with the advantage that you don't have to watch straight through all 42 items by 52 singers and 12 conductors of an over five hours event.

Nor do you suffer the audience's vicissitudes; late start, re-ordering due to flights not arriving in time etc (Domingo's Walkure starter had to be moved into the second half); all put right for the DVD.

Skilful editing ensures smooth continuity, with applause after each item shortened and merged with that welcoming the next singers and conductor. Clips from the actual premieres give a good impression of the various production styles.

For full reviews of the live event, see Opera News Magazine and intermezzo, the latter with a plethora of photos; and on Anna Netrebko's website there is a full track-list and video-excerpt.

Peter Grahame Woolf