Opera Rara Releases First Complete Studio Recording of "Fantasio"
“Opera Rara have done the piece proud … Sarah Connolly's understated Fantasio was very much the refined dreamer, though the real vocal honours belonged to Brenda Rae's spectacularly sung Elsbeth ... Mark Elder conducted the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with infinite sensitivity”
- The Guardian (December 16, 2013 concert review)
harmonia mundi is excited to announce the next release from Opera Rara, the prestigious British label that has been revitalizing forgotten 19th-century operatic repertoire for over 40 years. The label's new release, available on October 14, is the first complete studio recording of Fantasio, one of Offenbach’s most beautiful and refined works. A heady cocktail of charm, gracefulness and gentle melancholy, of bad-tempered jokes and poetry, Fantasio marks the crucial step in Offenbach’s path towards The Tales of Hoffmann. Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Opera Rara’s Artistic Director, the cast is led by spectacular performances from Sarah Connolly and the outstanding young American soprano Brenda Rae. Sir Mark Elder explains: “For me, reviving these operas involves the opportunity to work with the most talented singers and the finest orchestras, recording and performing these works with the accuracy and artistic brilliance they deserve. Put simply, my aim is to bring the best of the unfairly neglected operas back to life and to perform them at the highest possible level.”
Award-winning British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly stars in the trouser-role of Fantasio. This autumn Sarah will sing recitals and concerts in the UK, before performing in Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Philadelphia Orchestra in October, returning to the UK in December for Tristan & Isolde at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Opera Rara continues its tradition of celebrating young, up-and-coming artists with the introduction of soprano Brenda Rae. Brenda is one to watch, as she is currently touring throughout Europe.